Planning for a new baby involves months of careful preparation. There is a lot to consider, and some of the most important factors are often ignored. One of those factors is enhanced oral health.

Pregnancy actually puts a woman at a greater risk for tooth decay. Most women eat more while carrying, and this means an increase in carbohydrates that can lead to tartar and plaque accumulation. Maintaining oral hygiene can be more difficult due to tiredness or morning sickness, so the chance for damage to occur is even greater.

Good oral health can actually affect the safety of the pregnancy, but dental visits should be scheduled for the second trimester on. The baby is still developing in the early stages, so the additional strain isn’t ideal for the mother unless there is a dental emergency. In the middle and end of the pregnancy, development is much more stable. Visits late into the final trimester should also be avoided as they may increase the chance of pre-term labor.

Carrying a baby is a special and memorable time, but the health of the baby depends on the health of the mother in all body systems. Proper oral health while pregnant includes regular dental cleaning visits along with brushing after meals and before bed with a fluoride-rich toothpaste. Making oral health a regular habit will allow more focus to be placed on the arriving baby.