May is National Women’s Health Month, and Jackson Center for Smiles wants to celebrate by reminding all new mothers to take care of their teeth, both for their own sake and for their baby’s. There are many ways that the health of your mouth can affect your infant both before and after they are born, so make sure to keep yourself healthy!
Frightening new studies have shown that women who had gum disease during their pregnancy were an astounding 7 times more likely to have a low birth weight baby. While it may seem strange that your mouth could be so important, gum disease is in fact an infection, and any infection can have detrimental effects on a healthy weight for your newborn. The best way to avoid this is to talk to Dr. Watson as soon as you know you are pregnant so that he can test for any health problems that might affect your baby.
Your oral health decisions can still affect your baby even after they are born. Researchers now agree that one of the most common ways babies get cavities is by “catching” them from their mothers. Tooth decay, just like the common cold, can be spread from one person to another through contact with their saliva when sharing utensils or food or kissing on the mouth.
The teeth of infants are especially vulnerable as they begin to develop, which means it is one of the few times you can transfer cavities to them. All you have to do to protect your baby is keep from kissing them on the mouth. Instead, kiss them on the cheek or forehead, anywhere that won’t transfer your saliva to them. And don’t forget to keep your regular dental appointments with Jackson Center for Smiles, to make sure your teeth are cavity free!
We know that there are thousands of things for new mothers to worry about, but a fool proof way to avoid these problems is to simply take care of yourself. Come in for your regular appointments, with our Jackson office, as well as all of your other doctors.
Also, be aware of the strong correlation between stress and the health of your mouth. It can cause canker sores, dry mouth, gum disease, teeth grinding, and a painful jaw condition known as TMD which can bring on headaches, earaches and clicking in your jaw.
We want all of the mothers in our practice to have happy, healthy mouths!