A Mother's Oral Health Profoundly Impacts The Health Of Her Child, 2007

Sep 01, 2007

Download file: oral_health_brief_092007.pdf

Pregnancy and early childhood are critical periods for ensuring good oral health, yet too many Californians fail to visit a dentist during those times. The public health consequences are both costly and preventable, considering:

  • 18% of premature births are attributable to poor oral health in mothers.
  • Pregnant women with poor oral health are seven times more likely to have a premature and/or low birthweight delivery.
  • Only 19% of pregnant women enrolled in Denti-Cal (California’s Medicaid dental program) access any dental care during pregnancy.
  • Less than 10% of Denti-Cal enrollees under age 2 have ever received preventive dental care.
  • Children of mothers with poor oral health are five times more likely to have oral health problems.

Advocacy groups, provider organizations and state policymakers are working to educate families about the oral health needs of pregnant women, new mothers and young children. Yet much more remains to be done to ensure proper oral health care during pregnancy and early childhood.

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