There are many common dos and don’ts when it comes to pregnancy and taking care of your health. When you’re expecting a child, your body’s hormones change on a daily basis. These pesky fluctuations have an impact on many systems and structures within your body, including your teeth and gums. If you’re pregnant, you need to make sure to take the time not only for those OBGYN visits, but also for your annual dental checkups. Here, Flintlock Dental will share some dental care tips that can help you keep up with good oral hygiene throughout your pregnancy!
Don't Skip Dental Visits
It’s good practice for everyone to get their teeth cleaned and checked every six months, and this is still true if you’re expecting a baby. With everything that’s going on in your body, you might be tempted to skip one or two dental visits while pregnant and wait until after you have your little bundle of joy. However, keeping those annual appointments is important. Your dentist can monitor your oral health during pregnancy and make sure that nothing to going wrong in your mouth. Dental health is a good indicator for other problems in the rest of the body. Also, it’s hard to predict what will happen during delivery and soon after, and with the lack of sleep and other craziness that a newborn brings, you probably won’t want to rush out to the dentist immediately after birth.
You might be concerned that going to the dentist will hurt your growing baby, but this isn’t a problem as long as you notify the office that you are or may be expecting. This way, they can avoid procedures that could affect the fetus, such as x-rays.
Stay On Top of Oral Health Care at Home
Expectant mothers and their doctors are always keeping an eye on healthcare from every angle. Your oral care should be part of that routine. As usual, you should take care to consider the factors that can cause harm to your teeth and gums. It’s especially important to keep up with this mindfulness during pregnancy. Why? Due to the changes in hormones, a pregnant woman is more susceptible to tooth decay, so this is a crucial time to cut down on sugary and acidic foods and drinks. And if you’re suffering from morning sickness, the stomach acid can quickly wear through your enamel. Here are some tips to help you out:
- Choose a sugar-free gum/treat to fix your cravings for sweets.
- Rinse your mouth out with water after every bout of morning sickness.
- Brush twice a day and floss once a day as usual.
- If the flavor of your toothpaste makes you nauseated, switch to a blander flavor.
Regularly check your teeth and gums closely as you brush and floss. If you notice anything that looks abnormal or feels funny, make an appointment to see your dentist. Tooth decay is not something you want to add to your troubles during or immediately after your pregnancy.
Known Pregnancy-Related Dental Issues
Due to the hormonal changes during pregnancy, your teeth and gums become more prone to problems. This can include issues like ‘pregnancy gingivitis,’ which causes your gums to become red and tender, swell, and even bleed. This is caused by the increased blood flow to your gums and needs to be monitored. Because of this blood flow, a pregnant woman can also develop ‘pregnancy tumors’ along the gum line. These mulberry-shaped tumors are often benign and will disappear after the pregnancy, but they sometimes needs to be removed by your dentist. Keeping up with your regular cleaning appointments can help ensure that none of these issues are ignored or worsen over time.
Keep Up Good Dental Hygiene After Giving Birth
Being a new mother is tiring and all consuming, but you still need to take care of yourself. This includes your oral health. Keep your teeth and gums strong and healthy. This can be hard to do, since you’re focused on your newborn, but it is so important. Why does it matter so much? You definitely don’t want to have any serious oral health problems that can lead to infection, surgery, or other complications when a new baby is depending on you!
Overall, paying attention to oral health is just as important as caring for the rest of the body for expectant mothers. This area is often the first to be neglected, but taking the time for your annual cleanings is always very important.