Expectant Mother? 2 Steps To Having A Child With Healthy Teeth You Can Start Right Now

If you have a baby on the way, then you are likely doing everything you can to ensure that your baby emerges as healthy as can be. You may not realize that there are even steps you can take right now to help your baby have healthy teeth. While it may sound surprising, one part of your baby's anatomy that actually begins developing before they are born is their teeth, and they begin developing as early as six weeks into pregnancy. Here are two things you can start now and continue until your baby is born to help your child have healthier teeth for life.

1. Relax

Although always easier said than done, it is important to ward off mental stress any way you can during pregnancy for the health of your baby. Stress during pregnancy affects your baby in many negative ways, and it has recently been discovered to even impact the health of your baby's teeth.

A study of over 700 children and their mothers that was performed in the 90s was recently re-analyzed to find out if there was anything done differently during pregnancy by mothers who went on to have children with healthy teeth and mothers with children who ended up having lots of cavities. It was found that mothers whose children developed many cavities early in life had two or more physical signs of mental stress during pregnancy, such as high blood pressure or elevated stress-indicators in their blood work. That means that the mothers of children who went on to have healthier teeth experienced less stress during pregnancy or just managed it very well.

While you may not be able to control the stressful events in your life during pregnancy, the most important thing you can do is manage stress in a healthy way. Studies have been conducted to see what the best stress "buffers" are for pregnant women, and among the most valuable are social support, proper rest, and eating properly.

However, everyone is different, and you may have personal stress-relievers of your own that you should indulge in during pregnancy. Use this study as an excuse to take extra long bubble baths or let your significant other do the housework for a change to help you stay calm and happy for the sake of your baby.

2. Eat the Right Foods

Eating the right vitamins and minerals while you are pregnant can also help your baby develop healthy teeth. Vitamin C, calcium, phosphorous, and Vitamin D are the four most important nutrients to eat during pregnancy to support baby's healthy tooth development. Make sure your pre-natal vitamin contains the nutrients as "insurance" for days when you are feeling too queasy to eat much, but don't rely on your vitamins completely.

While oranges do have lots of vitamin C, you don't have to eat them every day, because there are many foods that contain more of this vitamin. Bell peppers and kale are two foods that contain more vitamin C per serving than an orange.

Calcium is, of course, abundant in dairy products, but you can also find it in beans, salmon, and almonds.

Foods high in phosphorous include many types of seeds, salmon, and Romano cheese.

It is especially important to get enough vitamin D during pregnancy, because it does not only directly support the development of your baby's teeth, but it can ward off depression that can elevate your stress levels. Foods with vitamin D include salmon, eggs, fortified milk and tuna. Also, a little sun exposure whenever possible will help your body make its own vitamin D.

If you are pregnant, then realize that you don't have to wait until your baby is born to begin helping him or her have healthy teeth. Keeping stress levels managed and eating enough proper nutrients in your diet during pregnancy can help your child have healthier teeth for life.

For more information and tips, contact a local dentist