Oral Health During Pregnancy

Many expecting mothers overlook the importance of good oral health during pregnancy despite its potential impacts on the health of 11658132-pregnant-womanthe newborn.  Unfortunately, only 22-34 percent of pregnant women visit their dentist.  During gestation, women experience a rise in estrogen and progesterone which increases the gums susceptibility to the bacteria in plaque.  If untreated, it can escalate and can actually affect the newborn in ways such as low birth weight and increased dental caries during childhood.

There are some tips that can be followed in order to maintain good oral health during pregnancy:

  • Brush delicately twice a day for two minutes and be sure to use a toothpaste containing fluoride.
  • Floss daily.
  • Visit the dentist for routine cleanings and be sure to let him or her know about your pregnancy.
  • Try to stay away from sugary foods.
  • Eat a balanced diet, full of nutrients and minerals that will benefit both your health and the baby’s growth and development.

Oral health is often overlooked by many expecting mothers. But pregnancy is a time when women may be more motivated to make healthy changes.  Visit your dentist for an oral examination so you can maintain good oral health during pregnancy.

Pregnancy And Oral Health | Dr. Oz Blog

Healthy Dental Tips for Moms On The Go

Happy Mothers Day to all of the hot mamas out there! We know that no one is busier than a Mom on-the-go, but that doesn’t mean you should put your health on the back burner!

mother and daughter

Here are 10 tips from Dr. Marielaina Perrone to help Moms with a busy schedule stay up on their dental health.

  1. Drink more water.
  2. Keep travel toothbrushes and floss handy.
  3. Snack smarter. 
  4. Drink sugary drinks through a straw.
  5. Chew (xylitol) gum. 
  6. Keep toothbrushes by the kitchen sink.
  7. Use rinses with fluoride.
  8. Pre-make snacks and Pre-pack your fridge.
  9. Educate your kids on healthy eating.
  10. Get rid of gummy snacks.


You can read more about Dr. Perrone’s tips and how they can help Moms on the go stay healthy here.

Study shows link between the flu in pregnancy and autism

There was an interesting segment on the Today Show with NBC News Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Nancy Snyderman, discussing a new study that links having the flu during pregnancy and autism.

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She advises that anyone who is pregnant, thinking about becoming pregnant or even within child bearing years should get a flu shot.

Researchers are exploring many different causes for autism including heredity, medical problems, illnesses, complications during pregnancy, genetics and environmental factors.  In all reality, we don’t know what causes autism or why cases of autism continue to increase, but most doctors agree that it has something to do with abnormalities in the brain or function.

Although this study showed an increased risk of having the flu or a prolonged fever in pregnancy and autism, there is still much research that must be done. Autism is a complex disorder and one study is not going to solely determine the cause.

My daughter has autism and we often wonder what caused her autistic tendencies and behavior. I have some theories based on my own personal experiences, but nothing backed by scientific research. I have 6 children, 1 with autism. I don’t remember if I had the flu with any of them. It’s an interesting idea but I’d like to see more studies done before I make definite conclusions about it.

What do you think?

Breast Cancer 101

breast cancerOctober was Breast Cancer Awareness Month (I know, I’m a little late) and it showed in pink!  Pink ribbons could be seen all over town, the kids’ school had “pink day”, walk-a-thons and fundraisers were organized, and many products in the store were packaged in pink, all in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness.

Breast Cancer is the most common cancer to affect women. Most people in the United States, if not directly related to, can at least name a person that has or has had Breast cancer.  It is estimated that about 227,000 women and 2,200 men will be diagnosed with Breast cancer in 2012.  It is an ever growing problem and research shows that early diagnosis is the key to fighting the disease. Because of this, there has been an extensive push toward prevention, early diagnosis and research that will increase treatment options and ultimately find a cure.

The National Cancer Institute has put together an online booklet that gives a great overview of Breast Cancer. I thought I’d highlight some of this information for my blog post.

Cancer 101: The body is constantly regenerating itself.  Normal cells grow and divide forming new cells to replace those that grow old and die. With cancer, the body produces new cells when the body does not need them. The old cells don’t die and the extra cells form a mass of tissue called a tumor. Benign tumors are not harmful and don’t spread. Malignant or cancerous tumors may threaten life and spread throughout the body and invade other organs.

Breast Cancer 101: There are 2 types of Breast cancer. Ductal carcinoma is the most common and begins in the cells that line a breast duct. The second most common is lobular carcinoma which begins in a lobule of the breast. Some women may have a mixture of the two or a less common type.

The stages of Breast are described using roman numerals and the letters ABC, Stage 0 being the lowest and Stage IV being the highest. The patient’s stage is determined by the size of the tumor and if it has spread to the lymph nodes or other parts of the body. The earlier the stage when diagnosed, the better chances for recovery and remission.

Treatment: The treatment for Breast cancer depends on the stage and type of Breast cancer. The most common treatments include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, hormone therapy and targeted therapy.

There are many groups and programs that give emotional support and care during treatment. Some organizations have volunteers made up of Breast cancer survivors, who can lend advice and support based on experience. Support groups made up of patients or family members can share their feelings and coping strategies with each other.

Women who have had their breast surgically removed (a mastectomy) can have it reconstructed through plastic surgery.  There are many ways that a surgeon can reconstruct a breast including using implants or tissue from other parts of the body.

Having proper nutrition before, during and after Breast cancer is important. Sometimes the side effects of medication and treatment will create a decrease in appetite. It is important to eat healthy and get the nutrients needed to aid in healing and maintain energy.

Breast cancer could return, so it is important to have good follow up care to ensure that the patient stays healthy.  If the cancer does come back, it will be caught early, ensuring the best possible chance to eliminate it.

The diagnosis of Breast cancer is one that changes lives, but through Breast Cancer Awareness one can find a lot of information, options, support and most of all…hope.


Breast Cancer Awareness Month–One Woman’s Journey

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and while searching the internet, I came across this segment on the Today Show highlighting Hoda Kotb’s celebration of living 5 years cancer free.

 They stressed the importance of routine screenings (such as mammograms) and early detection for combating Breast cancer. Hoda spoke of her experience, thanked the doctors that saved her life and shared how fighting Breast cancer made her fearless. Hoda also gave encouragement to all those suffering from Breast cancer letting them know that “It will get better.”

breast cancer awarenessTo learn more about Breast cancer awareness check out my other post called Breast Cancer 101 which gives an overview of Breast cancer, support groups and treatment options.