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New resource provides expectant mothers with vital dental health info

11 March, 2015

Assistant Minister for Health Jai Rowell recently launched a new video resource aimed at providing women with practical advice on maintaining good dental health during pregnancy.

Rowell said the video was funded by a $32,904 grant from NSW Kids and Families and is an initiative of the South West Sydney Local Health District based Midwifery Initiated Oral Health Dental Service.

"The 10 minute video 'Keep Smiling While You are Pregnant' makes women aware of the importance of good dental health during pregnancy and is available on YouTube," Rowell said.

"Research has shown that more emphasis needs to be placed on oral health during the prenatal period, with many pregnant women not receiving information on the importance of oral health care during pregnancy.

"This video aims to fill that knowledge gap – letting women know why it is important to look after their teeth during pregnancy and how to look after them effectively."

Chief investigator and senior research fellow at the Centre for Applied Nursing Research, Dr Ajesh George said research showed that hormonal changes, morning sickness and food cravings in pregnant women made them particularly susceptible to poor oral health.

"Poor oral health in pregnant women can increase the risk of early dental decay in infants and may contribute to lower birth weight and even premature births," Dr George said.

"Women who have untreated dental decay can nearly double the chance that their children will have early dental decay after birth.

"Women tend to avoid dental care during pregnancy because they aren't aware that it's absolutely safe to have dental treatment done while you are pregnant. In fact it is much better to have any infections removed as soon as possible, rather than waiting until after their baby is born."

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