While you’re waiting to meet the brand new addition to your family, try to indulge in a little ‘teeth’ time because your dental health can take a bit of a beating during those special nine months.
It’s vital to see your dentist during pregnancy because hormone changes, particularly an increase in progesterone, can make you more prone to gum disease. In fact, gum problems at this important time are known as ‘pregnancy gingivitis’ and may include gum swelling and bleeding, which is why it’s so important to keep on top of your oral hygiene. Also if the early stages of gum disease are left untreated, periodontal disease can develop, which has been linked to premature births and low birth weights – so good oral health will benefit baby too!
Other toothy troubles during pregnancy include a higher risk of tooth decay and increased sensitivity.
Here are some blooming marvellous tips to keep your teeth in top shape:
Try a little dental planning
If possible, get any essential dental work out of the way before you try for a baby so you can have x-rays while your child is still just a twinkle in your eye. If you sort these mouthy matters prior to conception, you won’t have to worry about harming your precious cargo and you can start your pregnancy journey with a super healthy mouth.
Tell us the good news
When you actually become pregnant, tell us. Then schedule a dental appointment for the second trimester – we know it’s just one more thing to sort out at this busy (and exciting) time but it really is worth having your teeth checked out.
Also remember dental care is fabulously FREE during pregnancy right up until your child is the grand old age of one – so take advantage and treat teeth to lots of dental TLC, courtesy of your friendly dentist.
Keep up the good brush work
We know we never stop harping on about it but pregnancy is no time to neglect your brushing and flossing. Use a small headed brush with soft bristles and try to brush for at least two minutes twice a day to get rid of all that nasty plaque.
A word of caution, if you are suffering from morning (or any other time) sickness, no matter how tempting it may be, try not to brush immediately after being sick. Stomach acid can soften your tooth enamel which can then be more easily eroded if you reach for your brush. Instead, just rinse your mouth out with water and wait for around an hour before you freshen up.
Regularly swish with a mouthwash for extra cleanliness but make sure it is safely alcohol free.
Watch those cravings
You may be eating for two but that doesn’t mean doubling up on sugar. Pregnancy cravings can create a taste for the sweet stuff but indulging in an overload of sugar laden snacks and drinks won’t do your teeth any favours. Whack sugar on the head and try to stick to a healthy diet bursting with fruit, veg, protein and lots of other healthy goodness. One tip is to finish off a meal with a lump of cheese – this will help to neutralise any harmful acids and contains baby boosting calcium too.
So, while you’re cultivating your beloved bump, make sure you give your dental health a little extra attention and you’ll have teeth that shine along with your pregnancy glow!