During pregnancy, a woman has many things to think about. Pregnant women should not overlook their dental health; both for themselves and for their babies. While most routine dental treatments are safe during pregnancy, certain medications and treatments should be avoided in the first three months, so let your dentist know you if you are expecting.
1. Care for your teeth during morning sickness: Some women experience morning sickness during pregnancy, which may include vomiting or acid reflux. The acid from vomiting or reflux creates a significant risk of tooth erosion, but the risk can be mitigated in several ways. Following an episode of morning sickness, be sure to brush your teeth thoroughly. If you are not at home and don’t have your toothbrush, rinse your mouth thoroughly with water as soon as possible or chew some sugar-free gum, and then brush when you get home.
2. Ensure tooth and gum health: Gum disease can cause damage not only to your health, but also your baby’s. Studies have linked poor maternal dental health to premature birth and low birth weight in babies. In addition, healthy gums can reduce the transfer of bacteria to your baby.
3. Watch for oral health changes: Pregnancy-related hormonal changes can cause your body to change in may ways. Keep an eye out for warning signs of gum disease include bad breath, swollen, red, or bleeding gums. If you have any of these signs during pregnancy, visit your dentist.
4. Quit smoking! Tobacco products are not good for anyone’s health! Smoking during pregnancy negatively affects both you and your child. Tobacco usage can lead to a variety of diseases including gum disease. It affects both of you, so quitting is good for the two of you!
5. Visit Your Dentist While You Are Pregnant. Professional cleanings are essential during pregnancy to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Schedule an appointment during your second trimester, and be sure to tell your dentist that you are pregnant and disclose any medications or prenatal vitamins that you are taking.
Here are additional tips to keep in mind throughout your pregnancy:
● If your toothpaste is causing you to feel nauseous, switch toothpaste brands or change to a mild flavor.
● Be sure to brush your front teeth and the back of your teeth very well during pregnancy. Make it a point to brush the gum line to prevent gingivitis from occurring and also the teeth and biting surfaces to prevent dental caries (decay).
● Your diet and eating habits will probably change during pregnancy! Make sure to adjust your at-home dental care routine as well. If you have a midnight snack, brush your teeth again to reduce the chance of cavities.
● In addition to flossing and brushing, be sure to rinse with a fluoride mouthwash.