Eating for two? It’s important to eat right so your baby develops properly. But did you realize that what you eat affects your baby’s teeth?
Your baby’s teeth begin to form between the third and sixth month of pregnancy. To give those teeth a strong, healthy start, you need to consume the right amounts of vitamins A, C and D, protein, calcium and phosphorus. Your doctor can help you determine which foods and vitamins you can eat now to help your baby smile on in the future.
Here’s a list of common pregnancy myths so you can separate fact from fiction.
“You’ll lose one tooth with each pregnancy.”
Don’t lose any sleep over this one – it’s absolutely false.
“Your baby steals the calcium from your teeth.”
The teeth are a “closed” system”. Calcium cannot be “stolen” from our teeth. However, if you don’t consume enough calcium-rich foods, your body will take calcium from your bones.
“You’re more likely to get gum disease while you’re pregnant because your hormone levels are always changing.”
There is a condition known as pregnancy gingivitis where, in the 2nd trimester, some women will experience swollen and bleeding gums due to the increased blood volume that occurs at that time. This gingivitis can be controlled with diligent brushing, flossing and oral care. It generally subsides in the 3rd trimester.
“Even if you do have gum disease, it won’t affect you or your baby’s health.”
New research suggests a link between pre-term, low-birth weight babies and gum disease. The bacteria that cause gum disease can enter your bloodstream through your gums. If this happens, the bacteria can travel to the uterus, triggering the production of a chemical called “prostaglandin,” which is suspected to induce premature labour.
“It doesn’t matter if you put off seeing your dentist until after you have your baby.”
Good dental care is even more important during your pregnancy. You should continue with your dental checkups to avoid oral infections that could affect your baby, such as gum disease.