During pregnancy, mom-to-be’s body needs adequate amounts of certain vitamins to support not only her system, but her growing baby too. Vitamin D is one of these vitamins that serves an important role. A proper intake of vitamin D helps mom’s bones stay strong, promotes healthy cell division, and supports calcium absorption. But getting enough Vitamin D during pregnancy is also important to baby’s development and, perhaps surprisingly, dental health.
At our Long Island pediatric dental office, we strive to keep our patients’ smiles healthy from the day they step into their first appointment. But recent research suggests that good dental health may begin even before your little one is born.
According to one study, children of moms who had a vitamin D deficiency were at greater risk of developing cavities during early childhood. Of the 206 women studied, 90% of them did not have adequate levels of vitamin D. Fast forward a few months to when the researchers examined the teeth of the now 16 month old children of these women. They found that nearly 22% had enamel defects, which makes teeth more susceptible to cavities, and almost 34% already had decay.
Even though you may not see your baby’s first tooth until he’s a few months old, all of his teeth are forming while he’s still in the womb. Just like bones, teeth need vitamin D to grow tough and strong. Since all of a baby’s vitamin and nutrient intake are dependent on mom during pregnancy, pregnant women need to get enough vitamin D in order to form health teeth.
According to an American Pregnancy Association study, women who took 4,000 IU of vitamin D every day had a greater chance of carrying a baby full-term as well as decreased infections. Most prenatal vitamins contain only 400 IU, so additional sources of vitamin D should be added.
You can increase your vitamin D intake by eating foods with a high vitamin D content such as:
It’s also recommended to get 5-10 minutes of sun two or three times a week.
Pregnancy is such an exciting event, and we know you’re doing everything you can to keep your growing baby healthy. Once your little one is born, the best way to make sure his smile stays healthy is by seeing a pediatric dentist in Long Island when his first tooth pops through. Seeing a dentist early is a great way to get your baby comfortable with the experience and set him up for a lifetime of good oral health.