Oral Health Care During Pregnancy
When you’re pregnant, it seems that everything in your world revolves around that tiny life growing inside of you. You think about how every single thing you do will impact your health, and ultimately the health of your child. It’s common to make changes to your diet and exercise routine. You’ll have lots of check-ups with your doctor. But have you factored your oral health into your prenatal plan?
Here are some things that pregnant women need to think about when it comes to oral health:
- Get your teeth checked regularly—Even if you’ve already got tons of doctor’s appointments, don’t forget to get your teeth cleaned and checked during your pregnancy. Your oral health may seem removed from your child’s health, but that’s not the case. If you get an infection in your tooth, then that infection can spread into your bloodstream. This infection could eventually infect your baby, leading to serious health problems and pregnancy complications.
- Beware of gingivitis—Some of the physiological changes to your body during pregnancy can lead to having sore and puffy gums. If your gums become so inflamed that they start to bleed, then you could wind up losing teeth. That’s why it is so important to maintain a routine of brushing and flossing regularly.
- Be up front—It’s important to let your dentist know that you’re pregnant. Dental care can still take place during pregnancy, but modifications may need to be made. Your dentist needs to know about your pregnancy so they can make any necessary adjustments to your treatment. You should also be sure to share what medications and vitamins you’re taking.
- Don’t let morning sickness get in the way—Many pregnant women talk about extreme tastes setting off morning sickness. If your toothpaste is making you nauseous, you might feel like avoiding it altogether. This isn’t the solution! Instead, find a brand of toothpaste that has a mild taste. If you find yourself with a serious case of morning sickness, try rinsing your mouth out with baking soda and water. This will help remove the acids in your mouth from vomiting.
- Use mints—Best-case scenario, you have a toothbrush on hand to keep your teeth fresh. If that’s not a viable option, you can keep some chewing gum or mints in your bag. Make sure they have xylitol in them. This substance helps rid your mouth of bacteria that can cause tooth decay.
- Eat properly—Diet is likely already a huge part of your prenatal care. Diet plays a huge part in your oral care, too! You should eat foods that are high in protein and vitamin-rich. Try to steer clear of sugary snacks and drinks, even when the pregnancy cravings kick in!
Pregnancy is an exciting time. It’s important to spend a little extra time taking care of yourself and paying attention to your overall health. Don’t forget to take care of your teeth and gums, too.