Building Teeth for Two – Pregnancy and Oral Health

Baby teeth start budding before your precious bundle ever makes an appearance, as early as in the third month of pregnancy. That means, whether you are eating everything in sight or noshing sparingly on saltines, your nutritional choices today impact your baby’s future oral health.

Prenatal Nutrition

During pregnancy, skip a highly restrictive diet. Instead, make a few smart decisions each day. It pays off big time, according to information from the National Maternal and Child Oral Health Policy Center.

  1. Eat when you are hungry, but think small meals. This helps reduce nausea and keeps you from hitting nuclear-meltdown-hungry levels.
  2. Folic acid is your friend. Beside a supplement, it’s found in legumes, fortified grains, asparagus and leafy greens. Good for you. Good for baby.
  3. Sugar is not your friend. Fill up on foods high in protein or fiber, such as nuts, vegetables, yogurt and other dairy products.
  4. Follow your appetite, but mix it up. Take in a variety of fruits, nuts, whole grains and dairy sources.
  5. Drink plenty of water. Increased bathroom visits make it important to stay hydrated.
  6. Repeat. Drink water. Or milk. Avoid fruit-flavored drinks, soft drinks or juices, all of which are high in sugar.

Strong Baby Teeth Begin with Vitamin D

Vitamin D looks better than ever and makes a dramatic difference for your new arrival. A recent study underscores its importance for expecting and nursing mothers, as low levels in mom lead to more cavities and delayed enamel development for baby. Higher levels of this critical vitamin avert conditions like diabetes, respiratory infection, and possibly even autism spectrum disorder in your child.

There’s even more, according to the researchers at the University of Manitoba in Canada and the University of Rochester in New York. While we’ve long been aware of its abilities to promote bone density in adult women before and after pregnancy, but it also may lower blood pressure during pregnancy.

The recommend dietary allowance (RDA) during pregnancy is 1,000 mg daily. Don’t exceed 2,500 mg. Foods with high levels of Vitamin D include:

  • Orange Juice
  • Cottage Cheese, (2% milk fat)
  • Milk
  • Tofu

About James Stewart DDS

Dr. James R. Stewart, Jr., perfected the ability to bring his wife the healthy snacks she craved during two pregnancies. He graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.S. in microbiology and then earned his D.D.S. degree from its School of Dentistry in 1987. The following year, he completed a general practice residency at Sinai Hospital of Detroit.