Recognizing Dental Hygiene Month, October 2010
Your smile is often the first impression you give to others. That’s just one reason why it is important to take good care of your oral health.
Fortunately, it does not take a lot of work or time to develop good oral health habits to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Review these tips:
- Brush teeth for at least two minutes, two times each day
- Floss between teeth every day
- Schedule regular dental checkup and cleaning appointments
- Reduce consumption of sugary foods and drinks, especially before bedtime
- Consume alcohol in moderation
- Avoid using smoke or chewing tobacco
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Pregnant women understand the need to maintain a healthy diet to help their babies develop and grow. While it is important for expectant moms to eat nutritious foods, it is also imperative that they take good care of their teeth.
A woman’s oral health can contribute to the healthiness of her newborn. If good oral health habits are not maintained during pregnancy, such as regular brushing and flossing after meals, plaque can develop on the teeth, which may lead to periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease affects more than 23 percent of women between ages 30 and 54. The condition creates a bacterial infection that can enter the bloodstream and induce pregnancy complications, such as systemic inflammatory responses and/or ectopic infections.
The Impact of Periodontal Disease
- Pregnant women with severe periodontal disease are at higher risk for delivering preterm babies with low birth weights.
- Approximately 18 percent of the 250,000 cases of premature low-weight infants born in the U.S. each year may be attributed to periodontal disease.
- Pregnant women with periodontal disease are up to 7.5 times more likely to have a pregnancy complication than those who are disease-free. View full article »