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Don't forget about dental health when preparing for baby
Updated: 2/23/2012 7:00:03 PM


There are many things that a pregnant woman needs to do in preparation for her baby. As these women get their bodies and houses prepared for the baby to arrive, it's important that they also make dental health a priority.

The hormonal changes that occur in the body during pregnancy increase a woman's risk of developing a dental health problem. Furthermore, many studies have found a link between gum disease and complications during pregnancy.

For example, researchers from the Dental School at the University of North Carolina took two groups of pregnant women and had one rinse with mouthwash regularly, while the other just used water. The women who used mouthwash were significantly less likely to have a premature baby.

"Preventive dental cleanings and annual exams during pregnancy are not only safe, but are recommended," according to the American Pregnancy Association.

The organization added that dental work such as cavity fillings and crowns should be performed to reduce the chance of infection. Pregnant women should also remember that they need to clean their baby's gums with a damp washcloth each night, and take them to the dentist when the child gets his or her first tooth.

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