Brushing for Two: How Your Oral Health Affects Your Baby

The effect of the mother's dental health on her child's teeth cleaning:

Being a mom-to-be involves all kinds of sacrifice.
During this stage, a mom-to-be may be so focused on making everything perfect for her little one that she may neglect her own health.

But, a mom who takes care of herself also takes care of her unborn baby and this is even more true when it comes to oral health.

Visit your dentist to assess the status of your oral health and make a plan for your dental care for the rest of your pregnancy.
Taking care of your teeth and gums can make a difference for your baby, both before and after birth.

Factors that deteriorate the health of teeth and gums:

It is common for the health of a mother-to-be's teeth and gums to deteriorate during pregnancy.
To explain it better, we mention some factors that can cause problems:

1- Everyone is tired at the end of the day, but add a pregnancy to that and the level of exhaustion is a whole new level.

As a result, regular nightly brushing and flossing may be skipped, along with regular visits to the dentist.
This can lead to a buildup of bacteria and eventually tooth decay.

2- Hormonal changes during pregnancy can compromise the health of mom's gums and can lead to pregnancy gingivitis (sore gums that bleed because they become inflamed).

And yes, in case you were wondering, it's as disgusting as it sounds.
Untreated gingivitis can lead to periodontitis, a more serious gum disease that includes bone loss.
Research also suggests a link between preterm birth, low birth weight babies, and gingivitis.

3- Morning sickness can damage your mouth.
Stomach acid reaches the mouth and can weaken tooth enamel, putting pregnant women at higher risk for cavities.

4- It is common to eat more frequently during pregnancy, but frequent snacking and "picking" puts teeth in constant contact with acid in food.

This also increases the production of acid-loving or acidophilic bacteria such as Streptococcus mutans , which produce more acid that can weaken enamel.

5- Pregnant women need a prenatal vitamin that contains  folic acid  to support the health of their babies during pregnancy.

When choosing a vitamin, avoid chewable or gummy vitamins, especially if you eat them after brushing your teeth or before bed.
They stick to your teeth, and most contain sugar that can damage your teeth.

How mom's oral health can be linked to baby's health:

A mom's oral health is linked to the health of her unborn baby and can be integrally related to the bacteria in her mouth.
  • When a pregnant woman has an overgrowth of bacteria in her mouth, it can enter her bloodstream through her gums and travel to her uterus, initiating the production of chemicals called prostaglandins, possibly inducing labor premature.
  • Once the baby is born, the mother can pass her bacteria to her newborn baby (called vertical transmission).

Thus, a mother who has a large number of acidophilic bacteria in her mouth will transmit more of those bacteria to her newborn baby.

Brushing your teeth can reduce the risk of pregnancy complications:

Pregnant women who brush their teeth well can reduce the risk of dangerous pregnancy complications and take a step toward reducing the risk of future dental  infections  in their newborn baby.

Brush your teeth with a fluoride - containing toothpaste at least twice a day and after each meal, if possible. Also, you should floss every day.

Good nutrition keeps the oral cavity healthy and strong; reasonable and balanced meals that contain calcium and a limited amount of acids and sugar are best for your oral health and that of your baby.
 More frequent cleanings by the dentist also help control plaque and prevent gingivitis.


A mom without good oral health is more likely to pass harmful, aggressive bacteria to her newborn baby, and this can cause problems later in life (think of a 2-year-old with cavities that need to be treated).

So, in addition to eating the right foods, avoiding the unhealthy ones (like candy, cookies, and other sticky foods), and making all kinds of sacrifices to deliver the perfect baby, moms need to make their oral health a priority.
And don't forget to visit your dentist for regular checkups.

You may not think so at the moment, but when a mom brushes her teeth, that brush counts for two!