It is no secret that your dental health is very much connected to your overall health. It is important to be especially mindful of this when you are pregnant. During pregnancy, it is not only your overall health that is affected by your dental habits but also the health and future well-being of your child. Due to hormonal changes that happen during pregnancy a mother may be more susceptible to gum disease such as gingivitis or periodontitis, which affects the bones that hold your teeth in place. Additionally, periodontitis has also been linked to premature birth, as well as low birth weight, so maintaining your oral health during pregnancy is of the utmost importance.
Taking Care of Your Oral Health:
Aside from brushing your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, and flossing regularly, expecting mothers should schedule a dental check-up and cleaning during their first trimester. This will allow for a thorough cleaning as well as an opportunity for your dentist to provide an examination to make sure your mouth health is pristine as you go forward through the remainder of your pregnancy. At any time between the third and ninth month of pregnancy, it is possible to develop “pregnancy gingivitis”. This is caused by bacteria along the gumline which leaves gum red, swollen, and possibly bleeding. Having a consistent at-home dental routine, as well as check-ups with your dentist during pregnancy can help to prevent this.
If you experience morning sickness during your pregnancy, it is possible that the stomach acid in the vomit can weaken the surface of your teeth by demineralizing. This can put you at a greater risk of tooth decay and greater dental problems over time. If you do experience morning sickness, after the episode it is good practice to rinse your mouth with water after vomiting, wait 30 mins to allow the acid to reduce in your mouth, and then brush your teeth.
Healthy Eating Habits:
While it is always good practice to eat a balanced healthy diet, during pregnancy you have different nutritional needs in order to keep yourself and your baby well. To keep your teeth strong and healthy during pregnancy, it is important to limit the consumption of food and drinks with high sugar content (despite any cravings!) and to make sure your diet includes enough protein, calcium, and phosphorus. In addition to this, taking a multivitamin that contains folic acid and iron will also have great health benefits.
Are you pregnant and have questions about what is safe and what to avoid in terms of your dental health during this time? We are here to help you keep yourself and your baby safe and healthy! Be sure to tell our staff if you are pregnant and we can help you move forward through your pregnancy with a healthy mouth and smile!
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To schedule a consultation, contact our front office staff at our Costa Mesa office at (714) 545.7157 or reach out to us at info@VanekDentistry.com. We have new patient specials, as well as other offers to share, and we are always available for any dental emergencies.
We look forward to speaking with you!