Dental hygiene during pregnancy
Along with the visible changes to your body during pregnancy, less obvious transformations are taking place behind the scenes. Shifts in your hormone levels can leave your mouth open to bacterial attack, requiring extra attention to oral hygiene.
Just a few small changes to your dental hygiene habits can keep your teeth (and your baby’s) strong and healthy.
Plan ahead (if possible)
Schedule an appointment with your dentist when you first decide to try for a baby. Checking the health of your teeth and gums in advance can save unnecessary complications later. Your dentist may also recommend treatment best completed prior to getting pregnant.
The dangers of gingivitis
Pregnancy gingivitis is a bacterial infection brought on by hormonal imbalance that primarily attacks your gums. Unchecked gum disease can pose a health risk to your fetus. Should you experience bleeding or sensitive gums see a dental professional immediately.
Increased plaque buildup
Changes to your immune system can cause greater than normal plaque buildup which leads to gingivitis over time. Regular dental cleanings during pregnancy can prevent this problem.
The effects of morning sickness
Morning sickness is an unpleasant, but common, part of childbirth. An excess of acid on your teeth can eat away at tooth enamel, causing tooth damage. Rinse your mouth with a teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in water or use an antimicrobial mouth rinse.
Keep the professionals up to speed
Always advise your dental professional if you are either pregnant or on pregnancy related medications as oral medicines and injections may interact harmfully with your prescriptions. This warning extends to prenatal vitamins. Dental X-rays can still be performed but your dental team needs to be informed of your condition to make the best choice for the health of you and your baby.
Nutrition for healthy teeth
Just three months into pregnancy your baby’s teeth start to develop. A healthy diet focusing on nutritionally-dense foods high in calcium and protein will help your baby develop stronger teeth and bones.
Visit your dentist for a complete checkup as soon as is comfortable after welcoming your newborn.