Pregnant moms have a lot to think about. While your calendar may be filled with prenatal checkups and shopping for baby, don’t forget your routine dental cleanings. In fact, oral care during pregnancy should be a priority. Gum disease is one dental health concern that is more common in expectant women, and it has even been linked to an increased risk for preterm labor. Brushing and flossing during pregnancy isn’t just about keeping fresh breath and white teeth, it can impact the health of your baby is serious ways!
Why Does Pregnancy Increase Your Risk for Dental Problems?
Pregnant women have to face a growing belly, morning sickness, swollen ankles and other unwanted changes within their body. Why is gum disease added to the list? Gum disease during pregnancy, also called pregnancy gingivitis, often develops due to the change in hormone levels. Hormones can change the bacterial composition of the mouth and contribute to gum inflammation.
To make matters worse, many women experience nausea during pregnancy. This can not only lead to a high-carb diet and midnight snacking, but it can also be associated with frequent vomiting. The extra acids and sugars in the mouth put pregnant moms at an even greater risk for dental health issues, including cavities and gum disease.
Ways to Protect Your Teeth During Pregnancy
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) urges pregnant women to undergo routine dental visits as well as practice good oral hygiene. Dental cleanings as well as most dental procedures are safe during pregnancy, so don’t let that keep you away from the dental chair.
Here are some ways you can stay on top of your oral hygiene during pregnancy:
- Don’t skip your dental cleaning, especially if it has been longer than six months.
- Maintain dental x-rays after 12 weeks of pregnancy.
- After vomiting, gargle with a teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in a cup of water to neutralize the acids in your mouth.
- Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste and floss daily.
- Drink plenty of fluoridated water throughout the day.
- Avoid soda and choose foods low in sugar.
Schedule Your Mother-To-Be Dental Checkup
At Carolina Commons Dentistry, we congratulate you on your pregnancy. We’d also love to see you during these special nine months for your routine cleaning and exam. Detecting pregnancy gingivitis at its earliest stages can help protect your baby from preterm birth or low birth weight.
Posted on behalf of Carolina Commons Dentistry