Oral Care During Pregnancy
Women have a lifestyle to adjust to when they find out they are expecting a child. New habits, diet restrictions, and vitamins all become a part of your life for forty weeks. While you may be preoccupied preparing for a new addition to the family, it is important to maintain good oral care during pregnancy to help your baby to be healthy. There are links to periodontal disease and low birth weight and premature babies, so remain diligent in your oral hygiene routine.
Morning Sickness can Wreak Havoc on the Mouth:
As if being pregnant isn’t hard enough on the body as the baby grows, many women experience morning sickness which completely throws a wrench in the gears of your routine. Many women get nauseous at the thought of brushing their teeth in the morning, and also find themselves throwing up a lot. Both are bad for the teeth.
Consider switching to a mild toothpaste that doesn’t have a lot of flavor to make it easier to use. Vomit can be very damaging to the teeth because of the stomach acids that damage tooth enamel. If you can, brush your teeth after throwing up to remove the acid from the mouth. If that is too uncomfortable, rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash to remove debris and acid from the mouth.
Go to your Regularly Scheduled Dental Cleanings:
Even though you’ll have additional doctor’s appointments to go to while pregnant to check on the growth of your baby, that doesn’t mean you should skip your dental cleanings until after junior has arrived. Visit your appointments as usual, and let your dentist know you are expecting. It’s important for them to make sure you don’t have any signs of periodontal disease for the sake of your baby.
Elective and cosmetic procedures should wait until after the pregnancy, but most necessary procedures are safe for during. Many dentists even have ways to take x-rays that are still safe for the baby. Try to schedule afternoon appointments if you’re concerned about morning sickness, and if you are planning to get pregnant, schedule an appointment in advance to make sure all is well in your mouth.
Follow your Usual Dental Routine:
Most of your normal dental products are safe for use during pregnancy, but check with your doctor or dentist if you have any particular questions. Brush, floss and rinse as usual.
Maintain a Healthy Diet:
Your doctor will tell you this too, but a healthy diet is important especially during pregnancy. It’s for your health, your baby’s health, and the health of your teeth. You may want to give in to cravings, but extra sugar will be bad for your teeth, increasing your chance for decay and periodontal disease.
Eat foods high in calcium and minerals, because soon you won’t have only your teeth to worry about, you’ll have your babies teeth, too! While they may not erupt until your baby is several months old, the teeth start forming during the third month of pregnancy, and having these minerals will make them strong and healthy.