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Tooth Healthy Foods – Pregnancy



Starting the Conversation
  • Describe what you eat and drink during a typical day.
  • Have your eating habits changed since you have been pregnant? If so, how?
  • Today we are going to talk about how what you eat and how often you eat can impact your oral health.
  • Every time we eat foods high in sugar and carbohydrates (sweets, crackers, chips, white bread/pasta, dried fruit, etc.), the bacteria in our mouths make acid that attack our teeth for 20 minutes. Reference the Tooth Healthy and Tooth Unhealthy Foods List on page 53 for examples.
  • Snacking (or sipping on sweet drinks) throughout the day will cause multiple acid attacks that may lead to cavities. It’s best to choose tooth healthy foods and limit eating to meal and snack times.
  • However, if you feel nauseous as a symptom of pregnancy, you may feel better eating small meals throughout the day. If this is the case, choose tooth healthy foods if you can brush or rinse your mouth out with water after eating.

1. Germs + food = cavities.

Use the following script to demonstrate how eating tooth unhealthy foods throughout the day causes cavities. In the demonstration, the baking soda represents food, black pepper represents germs and vinegar is used to create the acid.

  • Imagine that this container is your mouth. We know that germs already live in your mouth. Sprinkle in Pepper
  • When we eat potato chips or other foods that we like (pour in some baking soda)
  • Pour a small amount of vinegar in until it begins to bubble up. The germs plus the food
  • What do you notice? What do you think is happening here? Encourage responses: an acid attack is happening, constant acid attacks can cause cavities, the teeth are getting weak.
  • What happens if we add more food? Add more baking soda/vinegar. Encourage mouth. Sprinkle in pepper. the germs start eating the food. More acid attacks are happening, the teeth are getting weaker and susceptible to cavities.
  • Repeat the process.
  • Our teeth get cavities when germs eat tooth unhealthy foods and create an acid. If we eat tooth unhealthy foods throughout the day, acid attacks are constantly weakening our teeth. Cavities may be forming.
  • How can we prevent acid attacks from happening on our teeth? Encourage responses: by eating tooth healthy foods and limiting when we eat to meal and snack times instead of eating throughout the day, rinsing with water after eating to reduce the acid.
  • What barriers or difficulties might you have replacing tooth unhealthy foods with tooth healthy foods? How can I help you overcome these barriers?
  • How do you feel about eating only during meals and snack times? Is that possible during your pregnancy? If not, how do you feel about rinsing your mouth with water?



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