The Importance of Prenatal Dental Care: A Healthy Smile for Two

Pregnancy is an exciting time filled with joy and anticipation. While you're busy preparing for your little bundle of joy, don't forget about your dental health. Prenatal dental care is often overlooked, but it plays a crucial role in ensuring the well-being of both you and your baby. In this blog post, we'll explore why taking care of your teeth during pregnancy is essential and showcase how one of our Smiles for Kids grantees, the Rowan County Health Department Smile Center, is prioritizing dental care for pregnant women that are underserved.

Did you know that hormonal changes during pregnancy can impact your oral health?

The surge of hormones that occurs during pregnancy can lead to gingivitis, causing gums to become inflamed, sensitive, and prone to bleeding. Neglecting dental care during pregnancy can even increase the risk of pregnancy complications like preterm birth and low birth weight. Maintaining good oral health habits and seeking regular dental check-ups during pregnancy are crucial steps to safeguard both your dental wellness and the healthy development of your little one.

Debunking the Myth: Dental Visits during Pregnancy

It is not only safe, but also highly recommended to visit your dentist during pregnancy. With advancements in dental technology and the use of appropriate precautions, necessary dental procedures can be performed without any harm to you or your baby. Dentists are well-versed in providing safe and effective treatments during pregnancy. However, it is essential to inform your dentist about your pregnancy and any medications or supplements you are taking to avoid potential risks.

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Maintaining Good Dental Habits During Pregnancy

During your pregnancy, it's essential to maintain good dental habits to keep your smile healthy. Be sure to brush twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Flossing daily is equally crucial, as it helps remove plaque and prevents gum disease. A balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and calcium-rich foods will provide essential nutrients for both you and your baby's dental development. Limiting sugary snacks and drinks can also help prevent tooth decay.


The Rowan County Health Department Smile Center Prenatal Oral Health Program

Rowan County is a 9-year Smiles for Kids grantee that has utilized their Delta Dental Foundation grants to provide prenatal dental care to women who are underserved in their community. On average, they are able to assist 10-12 patients per year, who are referred from the Rowan County Prenatal Clinic. They then receive both restorative and preventive dental care that is very important to the health of both the mother and developing child. This program is a part of the Rowan County mission to improve the overall health of vulnerable members of the Rowan County community. Below is a story of a pregnant woman that received dental care at the Rowan County Health Department Smile Center.

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While prenatal dental care may not be at the top of an expectant mother's to-do list, it plays a vital role in ensuring both her well-being and that of her unborn child. By recognizing the link between oral health and pregnancy, expectant mothers can take proactive steps to maintain their dental hygiene. Regular dental check-ups, preventive measures, and adopting healthy habits will not only provide a solid foundation for oral health, but also contribute to a healthier start for the baby.

For more helpful, North Carolina specific oral health information you can visit the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Oral Health Section website. contributed to this article.