Taking care of your oral health while pregnant is extremely important for your baby and yourself. Many of your body systems change during pregnancy and these changes can affect your gums and teeth. Similarly, changes in your oral health, especially gum health, may affect your pregnancy. Follow the advice provided by your prenatal care team and remember to continue your routine dental care, have any dental pain investigated and tell your dentist about your pregnancy.
Here are a few tips from ProHEALTH Dental to help with oral health during pregnancy and beyond:
Professional Dental Care
Remember, tell your dentist and dental hygienist if you are pregnant. By knowing this your dental professionals will be able to give you individualized advice relating to your oral health and risk of dental diseases and to ensure your comfort in the dental chair. Routine dental care including X-rays, pain medication and local anesthesia are all safe treatments throughout pregnancy. Delaying necessary dental care may put you and your baby at risk. You should continue with your regularly scheduled dental visits as advised by your dentist.
Good Oral Health Care and Dental Hygiene
Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice a day and clean between your teeth daily with dental floss or interdental cleaners. Mouth rinses are safe to use following the manufacturer’s instructions. Ideally use an over-the-counter alcohol-free, fluoride mouth rinse or other rinses as advised by your dental professional. Due to any hormonal changes, your gums may become swollen and inflamed. Good oral hygiene should prevent this. If your gums start to bleed when brushing, or you notice any puffiness schedule a visit to your dentist.
Morning Sickness and Cravings
For most, episodes of morning sickness will pass. However, the acid regurgitated during vomiting will soften the surface of your teeth and may lead to acid tooth wear also known as erosion. Avoid brushing your teeth for at least half an hour after any sickness as this will harm the softened tooth surfaces. Try to freshen your mouth by rinsing gently with a teaspoon of baking soda in a cup of water to neutralize the acid. If baking soda is not available simply rinse gently with water.
Food cravings, particularly those including acidic fruits and frequent sugary snacks will put you at risk of acid tooth wear and dental decay. It is understandable that cravings may not be easily overcome but adhering to the advice above and talking to your dentist may help prevent lasting harm.
Caring for your new-born may lead to changes in your own routines. Try to maintain good oral hygiene and a healthy diet and maintain your routine schedule of dental visits. Any changes that occurred in your gum health during the pregnancy should resolve very soon after delivery. If you still have swollen or bleeding gums arrange a dental visit.
Your baby should have their first dental visit no later than their first birthday, establishing a dental home that can provide individualized care and advice to parents and caregivers.