For newly pregnant women, there are a lot of things to think about. Not only the excitement of being pregnant and endless thoughts about whether your bundle of joy will be a boy or a girl, but about the process of pregnancy, and how the body will change over the next 9 months.
There are a few symptoms of pregnancy that we’re all familiar with: swollen ankles and morning sickness have been well documented in TV shows and movies for years. But you might be surprised to learn about the effects that pregnancy can have on your teeth and gums, and what this can mean for you baby.
Does Pregnancy Damage Your Teeth?
Not necessarily, but your teeth and gums may be more susceptible to damage during pregnancy for a number of reasons. An increase in gum disease and tooth decay may be seen due to plaque. While there is often not an increase in the amount of plaque itself, the increase in hormones during pregnancy can alter how your body responds and reacts to plaque.
Why Might Dental Care Worsen During Pregnancy?
There are a number of reasons women may find themselves slacking in the dental hygiene department during pregnancy. With so many other important matters on the mind, it can be easy for daily flossing to fall by the wayside.
Some women find that brushing their teeth while pregnant triggers their gag reflex, especially toward the back of their mouths, and so they are put off. Others find that the smell of their toothpaste has them feeling queasy. To combat these obstacles, use a brush with a small head, brush slowly, and try to distract yourself with music or focusing on your breath.
If toothpaste is the problem, brush with water followed by fluoridated mouthwash. When the feelings of sickness have subsided, return to your regular toothpaste.
What About Cravings?
Cravings can be a large part of pregnancy, and if your sweet tooth is put into overdrive during your pregnancy, you could find that you’re craving nothing but sugary snacks. Too much sugar can accelerate tooth decay and cause dental problems, so if you’re craving something sweet, try to find alternatives such as low-sugar snacks or fresh fruit.
Rinsing your mouth with water or milk and brushing your teeth after eating sugary foods can help to prevent decay.
What Does This Mean for the Baby?
In previous years, studies have linked gum disease in pregnant women with premature birth, with suggestions that 18 out of 100 premature births could be triggered by periodontal disease – a chronic gum infection.
This is why it’s important to take good care of your dental health while pregnant, and why you may benefit from regular check-ups with your dentist to ensure that if any treatment is needed, it can be administered as soon as possible in order to prevent premature birth.
How Can I Care For My Teeth While Pregnant?
If good dental hygiene has been instilled in your habits since you were a child, brushing twice daily and flossing shouldn’t be a problem. Remember to continue these practices throughout your pregnancy to ensure the health of your teeth.
Another way to help strengthen your teeth throughout pregnancy is consuming plenty of calcium. Calcium works to protect your bones, including your teeth, and make sure you baby is getting all of the nutrition it needs.
Milk, cheese, and yogurt are all great sources of calcium that can be included in your diet. Some foods should be avoided as well – here’s a list of them.
If you’re pregnant or trying to become pregnant, schedule an appointment with your dentist today. At Redbank Plains Dental, we serve the entire Ispwich area. For experience and friendly Goodna dentists, contact Redbank Plains Dental today.Leave a reply →