Diet and oral health during pregnancy
Diet during pregnancy
Proper nutrition is important for the growth and development of the soon-to-be-born child as well as for the well-being of the expectant mother. Regular meals are the cornerstone of a healthy diet. A diverse diet includes plenty of different coloured vegetables, fruit and berries, wholegrains, regular portions of fish and vegetable oil, low-fat dairy products as well as a reasonable amount of chicken, meat or plant-based protein sources. You can also create diverse meals with the help of the plate model.
Vitamin D and folic acid supplements are recommended for all pregnant women. For more information, please see Special diet recommendations for pregnancy (pdf)
Oral health during pregnancy
During the pregnancy it is recommended to change the customs and routines of the whole family so that they support the good oral health of the future baby, too. Bad teeth are not hereditary, but eating habits and dental health care routines of parents and siblings are transmitted to the new baby. The dental caries bacteria that cause tooth decay can also be transmitted to the baby.
More efficient dental care during pregnancy is important. The hormonal changes during pregnancy have an adverse effect on the composition of saliva and expose the mother to oral diseases. The possible vomiting during early pregnancy and the necessary frequent snacks also put a burden on teeth.
Teeth should be brushed carefully with a soft toothbrush and fluorine toothpaste twice a day. Dental floss, sticks or interdental brushes should be used to clean between the teeth daily. Regular use of full xylitol products hinders the growth of bacteria mass on teeth, i.e. dental plaque and makes it easier to remove.
The mother’s diverse diet is beneficial to the child’s developing teeth, too. The whole family should get used to a regular eating rhythm already during pregnancy and forget unnecessary snacks. Constant snacking harms the teeth. Water is the best drink for thirst for the whole family.
Most adults have a lot of caries bacteria, i.e. Streptococcus mutans, in their mouth. They cause tooth decay and can also be transmitted to the baby. The whole family should ensure that their mouths are healthy before the baby starts teething. With the regular use of full xylitol products the parents may prevent the transmission of caries and promote the child’s oral health.
If you have had regular appointments with a dentist, you do not need to make separate appointments during pregnancy. If it has been a while since your last visit to a dentist, you should make an appointment with oral health care services. Families expecting their first child are entitled to guidance of oral health care and assessment of treatment needs at the dental clinic, free of charge.