Maintaining oral health for the prevention of bone loss around the teeth is important for pregnant and lactating women. Particularly nursing mothers should take enough calcium in their diet because lack of it is the major contributor to various oral disorders. Some dentists even recommend early weaning if the mother is having severe dental problems. However, the many benefits of breastfeeding suggest that it should be promoted and encouraged rather than suggesting early weaning. Tooth decay is very common in children all over the world and it has been found that it is more prevalent in children whose mothers either don’t take enough calcium or consume too much sugar that cause cavities and eventually leads to tooth decay.
Insufficient calcium intake causes inflammation of the periodontal tissues and disruption of the gingival epithelium. These conditions consequently cause alveolar bone loss and further deteriorate symptoms of periodontal disease. Tobacco consumption and gingival bleeding even makes the situation worse. To account for the deficiency of calcium in our diet, calcium supplements can be taken by nursing mothers. Oral hygiene should also be maintained throughout pregnancy and during the time the mother is breastfeeding.
In order to make breastfeeding successful for both the mother and the baby, the mom should look at what and how much she consumes. More calories mean more milk but one should consult with a dietician in order to find out how many calories they need depending on their weight and BMI. Make sure that you intake enough vitamin D along with calcium because it is not only good for the baby’s bone growth but also ensures proper calcium absorption. Include healthy foods like milk, yoghurt, meat, dry beans, eggs, fruits & vegetables, and whole grain foods.
Common illnesses like flu and diarrhea are not passed on to the baby from a nursing mom so don’t stop breastfeeding when you suffer from these conditions. In addition to consuming calcium-rich foods and prenatal calcium supplements, drink plenty of fluids including fresh juices. Breastfeeding makes the mouth dry so make sure you drink 8 ounces of water, juice or milk while you are nursing. Also increase your intake of folic acid during lactation to make sure the baby receives enough of her share.
The bone structure surrounding the roots of teeth is put to risk when a woman decides to breastfeed her infant. And the risk becomes even more pronounced if she does not have enough calcium in her diet. It is therefore very important that a mother treats her well not only during pregnancy but also during the time she is lactating. Moreover, she should take care of her oral health by brushing and flossing on a regular basis and visiting a dentist every six months.