Evidence indicates that poor maternal oral health can have significant consequences for a woman’s systemic health and that of her children. Similarly, transmission of oral bacteria from mother to child is well-documented and poses a risk for the development of early childhood caries, the most common chronic disease of childhood. Untreated maternal dental disease nearly doubles the odds of their child having untreated and severe dental disease; we cannot ignore a woman’s oral health as a key part of her overall health and that of her children.
Emerging evidence indicates that early preventive intervention can decrease the severity of dental disease and subsequent health care costs. Thus, the delivery of these services during preconception, pregnancy, and early childhood provides an opportunity to help modify the oral health for a mother and subsequently her children.
The Prenatal Oral Health Program is the product of collaboration between the UNC-CH Schools of Dentistry and Medicine. The Log In section offers free access to invaluable educational material about principles of oral health during pregnancy for prenatal primary health care providers and dental care teams. It is a comprehensive tool highlighting the connection between maternal and infant/child oral health, and is designed to assist providers in implementing and delivering preventive oral health services to all women of reproductive age, particularly those who are pregnant. For your FREE access to this wealth of information visit www.prenataloralhealth.org