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Is My Baby Stealing Calcium From My Teeth!

September 26, 2011
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Posted By: Frank Finazzo, DDS
Family Dentist in Fontana

We’ve heard it over and over again at our dental office in Fontana, “Every time I have a baby, I get another cavity or I lose a tooth. I heard that the baby steals calcium from teeth. What’s the deal?” Read on to learn how you can keep your teeth healthy dur­ing preg­nancy.

Can Your Baby “Steal” Cal­cium from Your Teeth Causing Cavities?

The answer is “no”. First of all, there is no way for a baby to “steal” the cal­cium or phos­phates or flu­o­ride from your teeth. I mean, how could that hap­pen? However, I noticed my own wife had more problems with her teeth after the birth of our two children (within 10 months of each other). The poor thing was pregnant for almost two years straight. So what is going on here?

Why Do Moth­ers Get More Cavities?

The answer is pretty sim­ple, but so often over­looked: stom­ach acid via reflux (regurgitation of stomach acid)! Just con­sider these FACTS:

  1. Many women expe­ri­ence nau­sea dur­ing preg­nancy. This daily expo­sure of the teeth to stom­ach acid when they throw up will cause seri­ous prob­lems if it is for months on end.
  2. All that pres­sure on their insides pushes the acid into the esoph­a­gus, espe­cially as the baby grows and starts kick­ing. This is particularly true if this hap­pens at night. The acid­ity will sit in one’s mouth for hours at a time. This is much worse than soda.
  3. Nau­sea can make it more dif­fi­cult to brush one’s teeth, sim­ply because the taste and feel of the tooth­paste can trig­ger more queasiness.
  4. Mul­ti­ply every­thing above times the num­ber of babies a woman has had.

How Can You Keep Your Teeth Healthy Dur­ing Preg­nancy and After a Baby?

There are a few very sim­ple and effec­tive ways to pre­vent cav­i­ties dur­ing and after pregnancy:

  1. Make sure you brush and floss at least twice/day and more if possible.
  2. If you throw up, rinse your mouth with water and spit right away — the longer the acid sits on the teeth, the worse the damage
  3. Avoid acidic foods and drinks, such as tomato sauces, orange and fruit juices, sodas, etc.
  4. Do NOT use abra­sive tooth­pastes.
  5. Reg­u­larly use chew­ing gum with Xyl­i­tol sweet­ener, which bac­te­ria can’t process. Chew­ing gum stim­u­lates saliva to wash the acid­ity away.
  6. Use an over-the-counter fluoride-containing mouth rinse like ACT, not some­thing with alco­hol, such as Lis­ter­ine or Scope.
  7. Talk with your den­tist about prescription toothpastes with fluoride to keep your teeth strong.

Babies don’t cause cav­i­ties, but all that nau­sea leading to acid reflux dur­ing and after preg­nancy can.

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