There is a direct correlation between oral health, pregnancy and fertility, said Dr. Kami Hoss of The Super Dentists in a July 2018 segment on KSWB TV. For men, poor oral health can reduce their sperm count. For women, bacteria triples the risk of infertility before pregnancy and increases the risk of preeclampsia, diabetes and other medical conditions during pregnancy. And for babies, a mother-to-be’s poor oral health increases the risk of pre-term birth and low birth weight.
Ultimately, a mother-to-be cannot have a healthy body without a healthy mouth, Dr. Hoss says. Everything that happens in the mouth can affect a pregnant mother and her baby. However, there are lots of things that moms-to-be can do to take care of their oral health before and during pregnancy, including:
- Brush your teeth regularly. Gum disease is more prevalent in moms-to-be, and as such, the teeth and gums may require extra attention during pregnancy. Fortunately, pregnant women who brush their teeth at least twice daily, floss at least once daily and maintain a balanced diet can minimize the risk of gum disease.
- Check your airway and sleep. If you snore or have sleep apnea, check with your physician or airway trained dentist to be evaluated and if necessary wear your CPAP or dental/oral devices to keep airway open during sleeping. Sleep apnea – where breathing stops and starts as a result of airway obstruction during sleep – can have devastating effects on the health of the mother and the fetus.
- Stay hydrated. Dry mouth may increase a pregnant woman’s risk of tooth decay and infection. Thus, it is important for a pregnant woman to drink plenty of water to prevent dry mouth. A pregnant woman may want to chew sugarless gum to increase her saliva production, too.
Lastly, women should visit the dentist more frequently during pregnancy. Dr. Hoss notes approximately two-thirds of all women visit a dentist at least once a year, yet this figure drops to about 50% among pregnant women – despite the fact that dental visits are crucial for the well-being of a mom-to-be and her baby.
At The Super Dentists, we now offer parent dentistry services to help moms- and dads-to-be – and current moms and dads – take the guesswork out of oral health care. We provide standard dental check-ups, adult braces and other dental and orthodontic services to help parents address cavities, gingivitis and other oral health issues. Plus, we can teach women how to take care of their teeth and gums before and during pregnancy. And after pregnancy, we can help moms and dads develop and maintain good oral health habits so they can put themselves and their children on the path to healthy, beautiful smiles.
Ready to set up a parent dentistry appointment with The Super Dentists? To find out more, please contact us today at 1 (855) GO SUPER.