Why is this so important for baby teeth?
During pregnancy, a woman’s hormone levels rise and gingivitis (inflammation of gums) is common. Serious gum disease in the mother has been linked to low birth-weight babies and premature births. Crowns of the baby teeth are developing and chewing surfaces of the permanent molars are beginning to form during pregnancy. A balanced diet and use of prenatal vitamins help to develop healthy teeth, while poor nutrition can be associated with tooth decay.
Tooth cavity causing bacteria can be transmitted to the fetus, so it is important to reduce plaque (tartar) and have teeth free of decay before the birth of a child.
If you are pregnant, be sure to visit your dentist regularly and have your teeth cleaned more often. At birth, bacteria may also be transmitted by a mother kissing her newborn child. Your dentist may recommend the use of chlorhexidine mouth rinse or products containing xylitol.