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Dental health important for delivering healthy babies, experts say
Updated: 4/19/2010 5:00:31 PM

Dental health important for delivering healthy babies, experts say Pregnant woman are often busy running from one doctor appointment to the next, but often times the specialist they forget to stop at is the dentist.

Mounting evidence suggests that stopping in for a regular teeth cleaning may be just as important for pregnant woman as the ultrasound exam.

Experts say this is because new mothers can transfer potentially harmful bacteria to their infants, who have yet to be exposed to the microbes. This can potentially lead to tooth decay or other problems in newborns.

"This is not something on the radar screen of most women," Jeff Wood, chair of the pediatric department at the University of the Pacific School of Dentistry in San Fransisco, told the Contra Costa Times. "It's so easily preventable. Women need to take care of their oral health, both for themselves and their babies."

Wood told the newspaper it may even be possible for women to transfer these potentially harmful bacteria through the placenta to their unborn children.

The American Dental Association says that poor oral health during pregnancy may result in premature birth and low birth weight in babies.

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