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This Just In: Maternal Stress Can Cause Cavities In Children!

We all get stressed from time to time – it’s just part of life! Whether it’s personal worries, financial concerns, workplace trouble, or any other outside factor stress happens and it can really take a toll! New research points to a significant effect on pregnant women that can actually influence the future oral health of their children!

At Edgewood Dental Care we believe great oral health starts early. We love seeing young patients grow into adults with healthy, happy smiles that we were able to help create! If you’re pregnant and concerned about the levels of stress you’re undergoing then we want to help!

How Does Stress Connect To Childhood Cavities?

A recent study out of the UW Schools of Public Health and Dentistry has shown a strong link between the levels of stress a mother has during pregnancy and the cavity risk in her children. The study measured biological indicators of stress, such as levels of blood fats, blood sugar, blood pressure, and waist size. All of those measurements are used to determine stress levels and when they were elevated in pregnant women the outcome was greater cavities for their kids!

The other major discovery that the study produced was a link to breastfeeding. Children who were breastfed were less likely to have cavities and mothers who suffered from higher stress levels we less likely to breastfeed! The connection between these two lead researchers to conclude that maternal stress and its link to childhood oral health is worth considering when you’re pregnant!

How To Prevent Cavities For Young Children

Let’s start with your stress levels during pregnancy. If you’re feeling stressed out and this study has you even more worried about your child’s teeth then you need to figure out how to unwind a bit!

  • Eating well is a key part of reducing stress and having a healthy child. Talk to your primary physician about what foods are best for you during pregnancy. Some of the most commonly suggested foods are those high in omega-3 fatty acids, like fish and seafood. Staying hydrated is also an important part of eating well so be sure you’re getting enough water!
  • Take a break for YOU! Pregnancy and the life changes that surround it can be a big source of stress! Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed. If you’re feeling like walls are closing in do something that makes you feel relaxed and calm.
  • Talking about stress, worries, or depression during pregnancy can be a great way to help you relax. Speak with your physician, spouse, family members, or friends to help take a load off. They might even be able to help you find relief! If you’re concerned about your child’s oral health our Edgewood dental team is happy to help!
  • Make sure you stay physically active. The last thing you want to do is become sedentary during pregnancy. Exercise helps relieve stress and keep you and your baby in great shape! Your doctor might have some great recommendations for gentle exercise that would suit you!

Once your child is born you need to consider their oral health as well! You should make sure your child is seen at our Edgewood office by the time their first tooth comes in. This will allow us to establish a long history of care that picks up on the smallest changes in their oral health!

As your child ages it’s equally important to continue seeing us every six months for a cleaning and exam. Baby teeth are just as important as adult ones – they hold the space for the permanent teeth so that they come in without issue!

It’s also important to start teaching good habits early. Make sure your child is brushing their teeth twice a day between appointments. Good home care combined with visits to our Edgewood dentist office are the key way to create a lifelong healthy smile!

We’re Here To Help!

If you have any questions about the dental health of the child that’s soon to arrive – or that’s already here – don’t hesitate to call us! You can reach Edgewood Dental Care by calling 859-474-7830 or you can request an appointment by filling out our online form. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Call Today To Schedule Your Appointment!