In the excitement of preparing to welcome your new bundle of joy into the world, don’t forget to take care of yourself and your oral hygiene when you’re expecting. Your oral health is more important than ever at this special time in your life.
Luckily, if you have good oral health, most of your habits will not change. For instance, your normal routine dental visits are safe for you and your baby. However, it is important you let your doctor know during your visit that you are expecting and to inform your doctor of any new medications you are taking. You may also continue to perform your normal hygiene routines at night using toothpaste and mouthwash.
During your visit, your doctor may want to perform x-rays of your teeth. Since you will be covered with a lead apron, the x-rays will not be harmful to you or your baby. However, you should talk with your dentist about your pregnancy to get his professional opinion and to determine if the x-rays are necessary.
One major problem that affects pregnant women is an increased risk for gingivitis. This is a mild form of gum disease that inflames the gums causing tenderness and soreness that makes your gums appear red or darker pink in color. You can combat gingivitis by having more frequent cleanings during pregnancy or by simply making a more concerted effort to keep your teeth clean. When left untreated, it can lead to a more serious gum disease.
Also, it’s important to keep in mind that your baby’s teeth will develop between the third and sixth months of your pregnancy. During this time, it is even more important that you are consuming ample amounts of key nutrients such as vitamins A, C, and D, protein, calcium, and phosphorous to help your baby’s teeth grow in strong and healthy.
In general, what you eat will also affect the baby and your teeth, so make sure you are choosing your diet wisely. One tip is to choose foods that are low in sugar, but high in nutrients. Some of these foods include yogurt, cheese, fruits, and vegetables.
Finally, a common issue that plagues women is dreaded morning sickness. This causes nausea and vomiting, especially in the first trimester. This can make it especially difficult to brush your teeth and practice good oral hygiene. One suggestion is to try rinsing your mouth with a small amount of baking soda mixed with water in order to combat the stomach acid attacking your teeth and partially causing morning sickness.
Overall, the most important thing during pregnancy is to take care of yourself and your teeth in order to take care of your baby. But remember that good oral hygiene does not stop after the baby is born. It is important to continue taking care of your teeth and keeping your baby’s gums and teeth clean after he/she is born.