Good Oral Hygiene For Expectant Mothers

Posted on: 8 December 2016

So much is going on with you during pregnancy that you may not be thinking about teeth – not even yours, much less your baby's. However, good oral hygiene improves you and your baby's health. What's more, certain conditions can develop because of your pregnancy. Take care of your teeth while you're pregnant, and help develop your baby's teeth as well.

Importance of Standard Dental Care

Standard dental care is not only safe, it's recommended to promote overall good health. This includes deep cleaning because it helps you avoid oral infections and gum disease. Indeed, gum disease can lead to premature low birth weight babies. The bacteria can travel from your mouth, through the blood stream and all the way to the uterus. The bacteria can even trigger premature labor.

General Dental Procedures

You should postpone cosmetic procedures such as teeth whitening until after birth. However, it's safe to have your cavities filled or crowns implanted during pregnancy. Most typical medications used during routine dental work are safe for developing fetuses. What's more, according to the Mayo Clinic, a single diagnostic X-ray won't be detrimental to the baby. Nonetheless, only get an X-ray for emergency procedures – postpone your annual exam until after giving birth.

Pregnancy-Related Dental Conditions

Your pregnancy can exacerbate or create new dental issues. Many pregnant women experience increased tooth decay. One reason for this is succumbing to cravings, especially for sugary or carbohydrate-rich snacks. Good dental hygiene – brushing and flossing – is the recommended counteraction. If morning sickness is the culprit, make sure you rinse with water after every episode. Likewise, switch to bland toothpaste to avoid triggering nausea.

Because of hormonal changes, you can also be more prone to gingivitis. This results in swollen and tender gums which can bleed when you floss. Be gentle in how you care for your teeth. However, you should also talk to your dentist about getting an extra cleaning to prevent gingivitis.

Eating Right for the Baby's Teeth

You've probably done a lot of research about what you can and cannot eat. You surely also know that a healthy diet is essential in promoting health in your unborn child. That said, your baby's teeth begin developing three months into your pregnancy. Your diet should include milk and other dairy products such as yogurt and cheese. Dairy products are an ideal source of the minerals that help develop the baby's teeth and gums.

Talk to a dentist like Paul Dona DDS about your pregnancy to get personalized advice for promoting good oral health.