Pregnancy calls for a mandatory visit to the dentist’s office and some additional dental care on your part. The relationship between pregnancy and oral health often perplexes many expectant women. “How do teeth regulate the health and well being of the baby?” this is what they often ask.
The swelling levels of hormones place a pregnant woman at a higher risk of gum diseases and dental problems. The most common is pregnancy gingivitis. The infection causing bacteria crosses the placenta, enters that baby’s system and affects its health. It could cause a woman to deliver low weight or preterm babies. Thus, it is important that you take good care of your gums and teeth when pregnant.
Given below are a handful of tips to maintain good oral hygiene. They are must know for every mom-to-be. It starts with…
A Dental Checkup
The appointment should actually be scheduled before getting pregnant. Women trying to conceive should have their teeth assessed beforehand so that problems can be fixed in time.
Nevertheless, the moment you learn of your pregnancy see your dentist. Inform the dentist about your condition and the medicines you are currently using. If the doctor recommends a dental procedure, consider if it can be postponed to after childbirth. If not, it is advised that you set up all dental work for the second trimester. Dental work should not be done in the first and third trimester. Elective procedures such as teeth whitening and bleaching are best reserved for post delivery. Avoid dental x-rays unless in case of an emergency.
Go for regular dental checkups. Monitor the condition of your gums and teeth.
You should brush in the morning and at night before going to bed. Use fluoride toothpaste. It will prevent the buildup of plaque.
Morning sickness often compels pregnant women to skip the brush in the morning. Women claim that toothpaste triggers the nauseous feeling. Agreed, but skipping the brush is not a solution as it will only mount your problems. Instead, you can ask you doctor for a bland toothpaste.
There are corners of the mouth and teeth that the toothbrush cannot reach. Floss can help here. It will eliminate food debris caught between teeth.
Mouth Rinse between Meals
There’s an easier alternative for those not in favor of brushing or flossing after meals. It’s a simple mouth rinse. After meals, rinse the mouth with an antibacterial mouth rinse. It will get rid of infection causing bacteria in the mouth.
Rinsing the mouth is important especially in the first trimester when morning sickness strikes. Whenever you throw up, the stomach acids remain in the mouth and impact the teeth. Rinsing will wash out the acidic substances and prevent damage to the teeth.
Clean the Tongue
The tongue is another part of the mouth that harbors bacteria. Therefore, it needs to be cleaned each day. You can scrape the top, white layer of the tongue using a tongue cleaner. Many toothbrushes are designed as a toothbrush cum tongue cleaner.
A well Balanced Diet
Eating healthy during pregnancy is important both for the mother and baby’s teeth. Among the food pregnancy cravings, sugary treats take the top spot. However, you should cut back on your intake of sweet and starch during pregnancy. The bacteria in the mouth covert these substances into acids which in turn erode tooth enamel. It also causes tooth decay.
What you eat when pregnant is also important in terms of the oral development of the unborn baby. Tooth development of the baby starts by the second trimester. Thus, the growing fetus needs nutrients that will contribute to healthy development of teeth in the baby.
You should eat a balanced nutritious diet. It should contain fruits, vegetable and a large proportion of dairy products as they are the richest sources of calcium.
Thus, it boils down to – healthy teeth, healthy pregnancy! So, ladies take care of those pearly whites.