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Pregnancy & Your Child’s Developing Teeth

pregnant-woman-eatingAlthough at birth, w baby’s teeth are not visible, they are there beneath the gum. Around the sixth week of pregnancy, the baby’s primary teeth start to form and about the third or fourth month they begin mineralizing- I.e., building dentin and enamel. So right from pregnancy, you should start preparing yourself on how to prevent any teeth or oral problem from happening to your child.

How well your baby does while in the womb depends on how well you take care of your body and your health. For proper teeth development in the womb, certain nutrients need to be made available to your baby.

Your baby gets these necessary nutrients only when you consume them. Certain substances can be harmful to your baby’s teeth and even health while there are still in the womb- avoid such. The following is a summary of the necessary substances to take in and those to avoid.

  • Calcium
    The teeth are composed mainly of calcium. When there is insufficient calcium in your body to support the development of your fetus, the body automatically uses available calcium in your bones to meet your baby’s need. This incidence should not be allowed to happen, as it could compromise your health and that of your baby eventually. Milk, yogurt, and cheese have a high calcium content.
  • Phosphorous
    This mineral is also responsible for the hardness of the teeth and is readily available in milk, meat, and cereals. Phosphorus is the most easily accessible mineral needed by the teeth, and all cells in the body consist of protein.
  • Vitamin D
    This vitamin aids the absorption and retention of calcium and phosphorus. Most foods except salmon and tuna do not contain natural vitamin D; they are added to them. When you expose your body directly to sunlight, it produces natural vitamin D. Because of the adverse effects of direct sunlight; you may not get all the required vitamin D from it. That is why you need to get it from other sources.
  • Protein
    After water, protein is the most abundant substance in the body. It builds, maintains, and replaces tissues in the body. Enamel rather than bone is formed from calcium phosphate crystals by the intervention of a single protein. All proteins come from amino acids, but the body cannot produce certain amino acids, and therefore, it needs to be added to the body through food. Although protein is mostly gotten from meat and dairy products, a vegetarian diet can also provide the body with all the needed protein.
Recommendations for Dietary Supplementation & Medications While Pregnant

When pregnant, it is better you seek professional help for supplements and recommended food type, rather than following a diet that might not be benefitting you properly. Sometimes when you can’t get enough nutrients from your diet, certain pills can make an excess of vitamins and minerals available to your body.

It is wise to inform all your health care provider of your pregnancy. This information will prevent them from prescribing certain drugs which could be harmful. For instance, certain medications like tetracycline can cause a permanent stain of teeth in utero. Also, avoid fluoride supplements when pregnant.

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