Pregnancy & Your Child’s Developing Teeth

Posted on 02/02/2018

preg2feb2018At Larry Caldwell, DDS & Associates, it's our mission to offer efficient and effective pediatric dentistry services to all our patients in and around Sugar Land and Wharton, TX.

This compassionate dental care doesn't just begin in childhood; it begins even before birth!

Many people don't realize that even though a newborn's teeth aren't visible, they still exist beneath the gums. Children's primary (baby) teeth actually start forming during the sixth week of pregnancy and mineralize during the third or fourth month of pregnancy. Proper dental care should start even before a baby is born, which is why, as your trusted pediatric dentistry, we'd like to help you make sure that your future child's teeth are as healthy as they can be.

Eating Right for Your Child

Like everything else that has to do with your baby's physical development before birth, your child's teeth depend on how well you take care of your own body. Developing teeth require the intake of several key nutrients in order to grow properly. If your body doesn't receive these, your baby's teeth won't either. As your trusted Sugar Land and Wharton, TX pediatric dentistry, we'd like to provide you with a list of the most vital nutrients for prenatal tooth development.

  • Calcium - This mineral is the main component of a person's teeth. If you don't have enough calcium in your diet to support fetal development, your body will actually take calcium from your own bones in order to meet your baby's developing needs. To ensure that you're getting a healthy amount of calcium, you'll want to consume plenty of dairy products (such as milk, cheese, and yogurt), as well as broccoli and kale.
  • Phosphorous - Another mineral that contributes to the strength of teeth is phosphorous. It's found in all of the body's cells and also in many foods - especially those with high-protein sources like meat, milk, and cereals. Thankfully, this is a very easy nutrient for your baby's teeth to obtain.
  • Vitamin D - This helps the body both absorb and retain calcium and phosphorous. While very few foods naturally contain Vitamin D (the exceptions are oily fish, such as salmon and tuna), it's often added to milk and other beverages and foods. Additionally, it's produced in the body when skin is exposed to sunlight. Many people lack the sun exposure needed to get all the vitamin D that the body requires, so you may want to consider taking a supplement.
  • Protein - After water, this is the most plentiful substance found in the body. Protein builds, maintains, and replaces the body's tissues. The action of a single protein will cause calcium-phosphate crystals to form tooth enamel. While the body produces certain proteins, others must come from food. Some of the most protein-rich foods include meat and dairy products.

Supplements & Medications During Pregnancy

If you believe your pregnancy diet is lacking any of the above nutrients, it is a great idea to seek out professional advice on what supplements you can take. Be advised though, while it's highly unlikely that you'll consume too much of any given nutrient through your natural eating habits, it's possible to overconsume certain vitamins and minerals when taking them in pill form.

When you first find out you're pregnant, it is important to share this news with your dentist and all your other healthcare professionals. By doing so, medications that are potentially harmful to pregnancy can immediately cease being prescribed. Some antibiotics may be unsafe for developing babies; for example, tetracycline can permanently stain teeth in utero. In addition, fluoride supplementation isn't recommended at this time because its effects during pregnancy are unconfirmed.

Contact Your Local Pediatric Dentistry!

If you're looking for a pediatric dentist near Sugar Land, Wharton, Rosenberg, or Richmond, TX, you've come to the right place! Feel free to contact us directly. We look forward to hearing from you soon!