So, you’re expecting a little one! As exciting as the news is, with much to think about and prepare for a new arrival, don’t forget your dental health! It’s especially important now, as pregnancy can make you more susceptible to gum disease and cavities. And good oral health is also an important part of your prenatal care – poor dental health when you’re pregnant can affect not only you but your baby adversely.
Maintaining Your Oral Health
The way you care for your oral health is another important responsibility that comes with pregnancy. Make sure you keep your regularly scheduled appointments with your dentist for an exam and cleanings. But also be sure to let your dental team know that you’re expecting, to make sure your dentist knows whether or not to postpone any treatments until the baby arrives.
And, let your dentist know if you have any changes in your mouth, like redness, swelling, or any bleeding.
The bottom line is this: receiving regular dental care while you’re pregnant far outweighs any possible risks. And, if you’re brushing two times each day with a toothpaste that includes fluoride, and flossing between your teeth at least once per day, just keep up those great habits.
If that’s not the case, it’s not too late to start. Poor dental care during pregnancy can cause a myriad of problems, and are associated with serious outcomes such as a premature delivery of your child; intrauterine growth restriction, which means that your baby isn’t growing as expected;
preeclampsia, or high blood pressure during pregnancy; and gestational diabetes, among others.
Steps for Dental Health During Pregnancy
It’s easy to prevent any negative outcomes from poor dental health while you’re pregnant. Here are some steps to follow to make sure you have healthy teeth, mouth, and gums.
- Brush thoroughly with a fluoride toothpaste approved by the American Dental Association twice daily
- Floss between your teeth to remove plaque at least once daily.
- Be sure to buy dental products that bear the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance.
- Eat a balanced diet, with minimum snacking – your baby’s teeth begin to develop in the period between the third and sixth months of your pregnancy. Making good food choices now will help put your child on a path to good oral and overall health for a lifetime. So limit your sugars and be sure to eat plenty of fruit, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Visit your dentist as scheduled twice a year for a skilled professional cleaning and check-up.
- Is morning sickness an issue? If so, rinse your mouth using a teaspoon of baking soda in water in order to stop stomach acid from staying on and attacking your teeth.
- Use an antimicrobial rinse before bedtime if you find that you need help controlling plaque. Your dentist can prescribe this type of rinse.
Remember, plaque that is not removed with daily brushing and regular professional dental cleaning can harden into calculus or tartar over time, making it harder to keep teeth clean and healthy. When tartar starts to collect above your gum line, tissue can swell and bleed due to gingivitis, which is early-stage gum disease. So be sure to use that fluoride toothpaste and clean between your teeth with dental floss every day!
Ready to Learn More?
If you’d like to learn more about maintaining your oral health during pregnancy, or to schedule a consultation, just reach out to us today! We’re here to help you, and your coming baby, continue a path to good oral health now and in the years ahead.