Pregnancy and your baby

Pregnancy and the first year of your baby's life are a very special time. You'll want to think about taking good care of yourself and getting your baby's life off to a healthy start. Your oral health is an important part of your overall health. Good oral health habits not only prevent oral problems during pregnancy, they can also affect the health of your unborn child.

A balanced diet is critical for proper development of an unborn child. The baby's teeth begin to form in the second month of pregnancy. Your diet should include adequate amounts of vitamins A, C, D, protein, calcium, and phosphorus to help develop teeth. Inadequate nutrition can result in poorly formed tooth enamel.

Tooth cavity causing bacteria can be transmitted to the fetus, so it is important to reduce plaque and have teeth free of decay before the birth of the child. Plaque that is not removed can irritate gums, making them red, tender, and bleed easily. This is called gingivitis, and is especially common during the second to eighth months of pregnancy and due to the increased levels of progesterone.