Eating For Two…Or Is It Eating For…Tooth?

babyteethIf you’ve ever been pregnant or are pregnant now, you will recall the many times someone made the remark, “That’s okay…you’re eating for two.” Considering the findings by the recent Canadian study, that cute little comment may develop into “You’re eating for…tooth” not your tooth, but your child’s teeth. Everything a pregnant mom puts into her body has the potential to affect her unborn fetus for good or bad, during gestation, after birth, and even into adulthood. A team of researchers from the University of Manitoba conducted a study and found a link between tooth decay in children, and vitamin D deficiency in their mother’s during pregnancy.

Vitamin D and Pregnancy

Research indicates that pregnant and lactating women may need as much vitamin D as 6,000 IU/daily. Of foods that contain vitamin D, most of them contain less than 500 IU in anywhere from a 3 to 8 ounce serving. Therefore, it is impossible to get enough vitamin D, even when eating completely healthy. Consider this:

  • Three ounces of tuna contains 200 IU of vitamin D.
  • Eight ounces of milk contains 98 IU of vitamin D.
  • Prenatal vitamins contain 400 IU of vitamin D.
  • Three ounces of herring contains 1,383 IU of vitamin D.
  • One tablespoon of cod liver oil contains 1,360 IU of vitamin D.

Would you take cod liver oil?

Vitamin D and Your Baby

Your baby relies solely on your intake of vitamin D during gestation to produce healthy bones. It’s during the last two trimesters of pregnancy that fetal bone growth is most prominent. This includes the development of your child’s baby, or primary teeth. Although they take months to begin to erupt, 20 teeth are already formed below the gumline, and the enamel also begins to form while the baby is in the womb. Therefore, a deficiency in vitamin D in the pregnant mother can have adverse affects on the baby’s primary teeth before they even begin to erupt.

A recent Canadian study found a correlation between low levels of vitamin D in pregnant women and cavities in their children, while children of women who had regularly sustained levels of vitamin D during pregnancy were less likely to present with cavities.  If you’re pregnant and concerned about your baby’s teeth and your levels of vitamin D, consult your Ankeny, IA, family dentist, Dr. Ericka Peddicord. She will be happy to discuss that and any other concerns you have regarding your and your child’s dental care.

About Your Ankeny Dentist

Dr. Peddicord offers a complete range of preventative, cosmetic, and restorative dental procedures as well as high quality dental prosthetics. Dr. Peddicord can answer your inquiries, and provide the services you need to maintain the health, beauty, and function of your teeth. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Erika Peddicord, please contact us at 515-963-3339. Our Ankeny, IA, office proudly provides general and cosmetic dentistry services to patients from Bondurant, Polk City, Elkhart, Alleman, and Cambridge.