The importance of oral health care during pregnancy
Expectant mothers have to make many lifestyle adjustments. If you are pregnant, you may find yourself squeezing in doctor’s appointments, ultrasounds, and decorating the nursery in addition to your normal schedule- all while dealing with decreased energy. Making an appointment to get your teeth cleaned may be the last thing on your mind. However, maintaining good oral health during your pregnancy is important for your own health as well as your baby’s. Below are some tips to help you maintain optimal oral health during your pregnancy.
Prevent gum disease
The connection between gum disease and illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease has long been documented. What many people may not know is that gum disease can increase an expectant mother’s chance of having a preterm birth.
The risks of neglecting oral health during pregnancy go beyond the mother’s health and well-being. Bacteria associated with gum disease can travel through the bloodstream, and it is speculated that this bacteria may be what triggers the immune system to send the body the message that it’s time to deliver baby before gestational maturity.
Manage morning sickness
Many, if not most expectant mothers will experience some degree of morning sickness during their pregnancy. Some poor moms may experience it more like morning, afternoon and night time sickness!
Unfortunately, nausea and vomiting can have a negative impact on your oral health. Stomach acids left on the teeth can erode the enamel and lead to decay and tooth sensitivity. If you are experiencing morning sickness, speak to your doctor about things that can help. Also, be sure to brush and floss daily (especially after vomiting) and come in at some point during your pregnancy for a dental cleaning and exam.
Maintain your regular oral hygiene routine
With all the excitement and stressors associated with welcoming a new member of the family it may be tempting to place your oral health on the back burner. As we now know, this can be detrimental to both your wellbeing and your baby’s. Ensure that you are brushing and flossing twice a day. Maintain regular appointments with your family dentist. Don’t be afraid to reach out to supportive friends or family members to help you with chores and errands so that you can get those moments to yourself to care for your teeth.
Maintaining a healthy diet is important for everyone, but especially for expectant mothers. You are, after all, eating for two! Ensure that you are getting enough calcium and vitamin D for strong teeth and bones. Limit sugary snacks and beverages. If you are experiencing cravings and just have to have that slice of cake, don’t fret. If you are following an overall healthy diet, a little treat here or there will not likely harm you. Simply remember to brush afterwards so that those sugars do not remain on your teeth.
At Coast Dental Centre in Maple Ridge it’s our goal to give expectant mothers the best possible dental care. If you are pregnant or planning on conceiving please feel free to talk to us about how you can maintain optimal oral health.