Our Arlington Pediatric Dentist discusses how proper nutrition during pregnancy can provide an important role in your child's fetal development. Prenatal development applies to organs, internal systems, limbs, and even teeth! Prenatal nutrition can significantly impact a child's dental development.
Dr. Peter Markov is a pediatric dentist in Arlington, Northern Virginia and provides some recommendations to improve oral health for mothers and their babies.
Understand that Tooth Formation Starts early
Even though a baby is born with no teeth visible (most of the time), it doesn't mean they haven't started developing. Tooth formation usually begins in the second trimester and a newborn has 20 primary teeth present in their jaw at birth.
Nutrition is important
It's important for mothers to eat healthy foods containing protein, calcium, phosphorus and other important nutrients. Maintaining healthy levels of vitamins including A, C, and D are important aspects of a good diet and crucial for optimal dental development.
Having a nutrient deficiency can impact prenatal tooth development and formation and make children more likely to have dental decay when the teeth erupt. They may have enamel hypoplasia, which is a dental problem where the enamel (or hard part of teeth) does not properly form, giving the teeth a chalky appearance. This teeth are more sensitive to hot and cold and have higher incidences of decay.
Take Care of Your Own Teeth!
In addition to good diet, nutrition, and exercise, pregnant and expecting mothers need to be proactive about their own teeth and oral care. Studies have shown that mothers with caries have children that have higher incidences of decay. Gum disease has been linked to preterm birth and low birth weights. Bacteria that is present in the mouth from a mother can be passed on from mother to baby.
Morning Sickness Help
If morning sickness is preventing you from brushing your teeth, try changing your toothpaste to a children's toothpaste (often have more bland flavors) during your pregnancy. Try to increase the amount of rinsing you do with water to prevent the acid from vomiting from staying on your teeth and causing harm.
VK Pediatric Dentistry
5001 Lee Hwy, Arlington VA 22207