04 Oct Pregnancy Dental Tips
Pregnancy is an exciting time in a women’s life, but while this is a joyous experience, it is also one of the busiest times one will experience in their lifetime. There is so much to think about and to plan for, and while many concentrate on other priorities, the mother’s mouth and dental health is often forgotten about. Keeping on top of dental health should be a priority during pregnancy, since pregnancy causes hormonal changes that can increase the risk of developing gum disease. A women’s body and mouth goes through many changes during pregnancy, and this can directly affect the health of the developing baby.
Are you expecting and are looking to lower your risk of early delivery? If you want to help prevent dental issues from developing, check out these 5 dental tips for expecting mothers:
1. Visit your dentist regularly
Visiting your dentist regularly while pregnant is very important due to the potential health risks. Exercising preventative care benefits both mom and baby, and will make any potential or current dental problems much easier to treat. Having regular periodontal (gum) exams is very important due to the hormonal changes that go on within the body during pregnancy. These hormonal changes can increase the mother’s risk of developing pregnancy gingivitis, as well as periodontal disease. All in all, it is vital that the dentist plays a consistent role in the mother’s life in order to help ensure that both mom and baby are healthy and thriving.
2. Tell your dentist that you are pregnant
Even if you plan on visiting the dentist regularly throughout your pregnancy, it is important to tell your dentist that you are pregnant as soon as you know; do not wait until it is obvious that you are pregnant! The reason for this is some dental treatments should be avoided during the first trimester, as well as during the second half of the third trimester, unless it is an emergency. This also gives your dentist the ability to alter your dental treatment plan based on the baby’s needs, since some procedures and medicines can negatively influence the baby’s development and growth.
3. Follow good hygienic practices
Unfortunately, pregnancy can make some dental problems worse, so it is best to stay ahead of the curve. It is important that oral hygiene is still done daily by brushing and flossing thoroughly, and that there are regular visits to the dentist throughout a women’s pregnancy. Pregnancy can affect your gums and teeth, and due to the increased hormones, you could have a more difficult time fighting off dental plaque. Developing gum disease while pregnant is a risk, as a chemical found in oral bacteria called prostaglandin may alert your body that it’s time to deliver the baby.
4. Eat a healthy diet
Eating a healthy diet is not only good for the expecting mother, but for the baby as well. Vitamins such as vitamin A, C, D, in addition to protein, phosphorous, and calcium are vital and are needed in order to help the development of the baby’s teeth. Pregnant women do have the desire to eat more, which is understandable, but make sure you are choosing foods that are nutritious and low in sugar. This will not only help keep you and baby healthy, but will also help ward off the development of tooth decay.
5. Rinse after morning sickness
Feeling queasy and vomiting frequently is an unfortunate part of early motherhood. Unfortunately, the stomach acid can attack your teeth, which often makes you want to brush your teeth immediately afterwards. However, it is safer to wait at least an hour before you brush your teeth; this is because the stomach acid can eat away at your tooth enamel if you brush too soon. Instead, while you are waiting to brush rinse with a non-acidic mouthwash, water, or even rinse with a teaspoon of baking soda mixed with water in order to help stop the stomach acid from attacking your teeth.