Dental Care Tips for Pregnant Women
As a pregnant woman, you have a lot to prepare for before your new baby arrives. Amid all of the planning, do your best to practice proper dental care.
When you become pregnant, your body starts to increase its hormone production of progesterone and oestrogen. These hormones cause changes in your body, including your mouth. For example, some women may experience dry mouth or swollen gums during pregnancy.
Even if you don’t experience noticeable changes to your oral health during pregnancy, you should still practice daily oral hygiene. Proper oral hygiene habits can help you avoid dental infections and gum disease. If you’re pregnant, use these dental care tips to keep your gums and teeth healthy.
Brush the front and back parts of your teeth and gumline twice daily to prevent oral complications like tooth decay.
Nausea often accompanies pregnancy, especially during the morning hours. If you’re struggling to brush your teeth with toothpaste due to morning sickness, talk with your doctor about using baking soda for toothpaste. The blander taste of baking soda may help prevent nausea while still cleaning bacteria and plaque off of your teeth.
If you do vomit due to morning sickness, rinse your mouth with mouthwash immediately after to eliminate any bacteria and acid. Some pregnant women also experience tender and swollen gums during pregnancy. Consider switching to a softer toothbrush to prevent damage to your gums.
If you notice that your gums feel tender, bleed or swell, floss more regularly. When you floss between each tooth and near the gumline, you strengthen your gums and prevent oral infections. If you neglect flossing, your chances of developing gingivitis increase. In extreme cases, gingivitis could even advance into a more serious form of gum disease called periodontal disease.
If putting your fingers near the back of your mouth to floss stimulates your gag reflex, use an electric or disposable flosser. These tools are often less invasive but can still clean in between your teeth.
Visit the Dentist
One of the best ways to maintain your oral health is by scheduling regular appointments with your dentist. During pregnancy, most dental visits will likely focus more on maintenance and prevention rather than treatment.
Pregnant women are more likely to experience plaque build-up during pregnancy. A pregnant woman’s mouth tends to take longer to fight off plaque due to increased hormones. Although flossing and brushing your teeth every day can help, you may benefit from also visiting your dentist since he or she can thoroughly clean any plaque off of your teeth.
Your dentist may also recommend an X-ray to examine your teeth. Before any X-rays, notify your dental staff that you are pregnant so they can take precautions to protect your baby. For example, many dental professionals will cover your stomach with a thyroid collar and leaded apron to protect your baby from radiation.
Another vital aspect of oral health during pregnancy is your eating habits. Many pregnant women crave sugary foods. However, foods with excess amounts of sugar can increase your chances of tooth decay.
Avoid eating sugary foods, such as cookies and candy. Instead, eat a diet rich in vitamins like B12 and calcium. Also, eat a wide variety of foods, such as whole grains, vegetables, dairy and fruit. Similarly, drink water instead of soda.
You may be able to satisfy sugar cravings by eating fresh fruit. If not, feel free to indulge in sugary foods every once in a while. Just remember to brush your teeth after eating sugary treats to keep your mouth clean and healthy.
Keep in mind that your oral hygiene is important for both you and your baby. Use these tips to keep your gums and teeth healthy throughout your pregnancy. If you’re due for a dental visit, schedule an appointment with the staff at Eden Rise Dental today.