This is a sponsored post written on behalf of Cigna.
If you’ve ever had a cavity, an abscess, or even a toothache – you know the pain. Our teeth are probably the finest tools on our bodies and when they hurt, it is the worst kind of pain. Unlike a broken arm or leg, we do need to use them even when they are paining us.
Many busy moms don’t make the time to visit the dentist. I am guilty of delaying my biannual checkups as well. Sometimes life gets so busy and we decide to put the other members of our family first, but it’s important for moms to make time.
A national survey by Cigna finds that 43% of women don’t go for a dental checkup while expecting even though 76% admit to suffering from oral health problems during pregnancy, such as bleeding gums or toothaches. The study also found that:
Oral health may be worse during pregnancy: Only 55% of women rate their oral health as very good or excellent during pregnancy, a drop from 63% pre-pregnancy. Without a checkup, women might not even be aware of problems beginning to affect their teeth and gums.
Pregnant women are skipping dental visits: More than a third (36%) of expectant mothers admit that it has been more than a year since their last preventive dental visit.
Doctors’ advice has an impact: Only 44% of women said that their medical doctor/obstetrician discussed oral health during maternity visits. Yet, significantly, women whose doctors talked about their oral health during pregnancy are about twice as likely to have a dental checkup while pregnant (77% vs. 41%) compared to other expectant mothers.
Busy moms don’t see the dentist: Most dental benefit plans cover regular preventive care visits with no or low out-of-pocket costs. But the study showed that only 43% of new mothers have had a dental checkup since giving birth. Plus, more than one-third of new mothers (36%) say they are brushing and flossing less frequently than before the baby – many blaming lack of time.
The information can be summed up visually in this infographic by Cigna. Preventive dental checkups are important throughout life, and, arguably, even more so during pregnancy. Any infection in the mother – including tooth decay and gum disease – may pose a risk to the baby’s health as well. Add hormonal changes during pregnancy that can worsen some oral health conditions and the importance of regular dental care during this time becomes even clearer.
Whether you’re pregnant or not, make that dentist appointment for yourself. Because we can only care for others when we are healthy ourselves. Check out the Cigna news page for more information.
How often do you visit the dentist?
This article is sponsored by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company. This article is for educational purposes only and is intended to promote consumer health. It is not intended as medical advice and you should always consult with your doctor for appropriate examinations, treatment, testing and care recommendations. All opinions are my own.