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Vitamin D in pregnancy 'can keep kids' teeth healthy'

Pregnant women who maintain their levels of Vitamin D can protect their children from tooth decay and gum disease, according to new research.
Pregnant women who maintain their levels of Vitamin D can protect their children from tooth decay and gum disease, according to new research.

A study presented to the International Association for Dental Research suggests that getting enough Vitamin D in the second trimester of pregnancy can cut the risk of dental problems for children.

Researchers from the University of Manitoba ran the first ever study to investigate the relationship between maternal Vitamin D levels and childhood tooth decay.

Of the 206 women who took part in the study, 21 were found to have adequate amounts of Vitamin D during pregnancy.

Infants' teeth were checked until the age of one, with 22 per cent showing some signs of enamel defects and 34 per cent found to have tooth decay.

Lead researcher Dr Robert Schroth explained to Reuters Health that to improve the dental health of their children, mothers should try to boost their Vitamin D levels in the second trimester "as that is when primary teeth begin to develop".

However, the scientist added that more research would be needed into the area as this first study focused mainly on Aboriginal women.

"The results may not be completely generalisable to the public at large," he said.

"However, this is the first known study that has attempted to link blood levels of vitamin D and infant oral health, particularly caries (tooth decay) and suggesting a significant association."

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