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Gingivitis is the most common kind of gum disease. It causes your gums to swell and bleed. It can lead to periodontitis – a serious infection of the gums and bone – and can cause your baby to be born too early and too small. Some signs of gum disease include bad breath, bleeding gums, red and swollen gums, sores that won’t heal, and pain and discomfort when chewing your food.

One way to make certain you deliver a healthy baby is to take care of your smile. Dental care during pregnancy is important – and it’s safe. Babies born too early and too small are more likely to die in the first month of life or have lifelong health problems and disabilities. Even after birth, infection from tooth decay or gum disease can pass from mother to child – creating serious health problems. For your health and the protection of your child, have at least one dental checkup during your pregnancy. Dental procedures such as cleaning and filling teeth are perfectly safe for you and your unborn child. Be sure to tell your dental health professional you are pregnant and if it is a high risk pregnancy.

A healthy mom is more likely to give birth to a healthy baby, so be sure to give your child a great start to a healthy life by doing the following:

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  • Brush and floss daily.
  • Limit sweet drinks and snack foods.
  • Take prenatal vitamins.
  • Use fluoride toothpaste.
  • Make healthy food choices.
  • Don’t smoke and avoid places where people are smoking.