Seminar - 90 Minutes
Good oral health begins before birth, but not all pregnant women are aware of its importance. Pregnant women are more likely to experience periodontal disease and are more prone to cavities because of increased consumption of carious foods, lack of oral hygiene and vomiting. Mothers and their children share the good and bad bacteria in their mouths, potentially increasing a child's risk of early childhood caries. Strategies and tools to educate pregnant women about the importance of their oral health are available, but increased awareness of providers to treat pregnant women and counsel them about oral health is needed. Not all states provide benefits through Medicaid for pregnant women necessitating the need for advocacy. This seminar provides an overview of the evidence for oral disease in pregnant women; the disease burden and access to care issues they may face; and communications/policy strategies to improve their oral health for future generations.