Pregnancy is an opportune time to enhance the overall health and education of a mother, particularly regarding the importance of her own and her baby’s oral health. Poor oral health habits on the part of the mother can lead to low-birth weight and pre-term births, among challenging health issues.
The Center for Women’s Health, located within Saint Francis Hospital, seeks to improve the oral health of low-income pregnant women with a two-pronged approach of education and care coordination. Obstetrics and gynecological residents from the University of Connecticut School of Medicine will be educated on the importance of good oral health care during pregnancy, information which they will then share with their patients. Second, the Center will create a referral and coordinated system of care between Burgdorf Clinic and Community Health Services where low-income women can access dental care through expedited appointments. Additionally, each patient’s electronic health record will track dental care recommended and received, and monitor improvements over time.