Did you know that pre-term labor is frequently caused by an infection somewhere in the body—and that this can include your mouth? In this guest video clip, Mary Ellen Lowry, a certified nurse-midwife with Midwifery at Women’s Health Alliance in Chapel Hill, NC, discusses the importance of dental care during pregnancy, as a way of helping expectant mothers to avoid infection. We thank Ms. Lowry and her team for permitting us to post this video directly on our site.

One of the things that we talk about today is dental health, which seems a little crazy to talk about during pregnancy. What, why does it matter? One thing to realize is that tooth de—preterm labor many times is caused by infection—okay—infection anywhere in your body. Tooth decay is—can become infection, and it is one of the leading causes of pre-term labor. So it’s really important to talk about dental health and pregnancy. So—we want to make sure, you know, that you brush your teeth, and you’re doing all that good stuff—but also that you—at this stage in the pregnancy, I would already go ahead and make an appointment with your dentist for a cleaning now, and I would probably plan one at the end of the pregnancy too, and make sure that we don’t have any cavities or any kind of dental disease that needs to be treated so that we can avoid—one of the things that we’re trying to do in Centering is avoiding pre-term labor. We want those babies in there as long as we possibly can, so—or as long as it’s healthy. Not forever, but—so make sure that you are paying attention to your dental health.