When women are pregnant, they’re expected to regulate their diet, environment, and routine. However, many women seem to neglect the idea of dental health being an important responsibility throughout pregnancy.
Dentistry and pregnancy work together. Pregnancy generally brings out changes that can result in serious dental issues, putting the mother and baby at risk.
Having a child develop inside your womb makes seeing the dentist more vital than ever! Today your dependable dentists at WhiteWing Dental in McAllen, TX will list 10 dental care tips worth following during your pregnancy.
1. See Your Dentist Regularly
Some pregnant women skip their routine dental checkups during pregnancy out of fear of harming the baby. Unfortunately, this actually puts their little one at risk. Throughout pregnancy, hormonal changes and other side effects increase womens’ susceptibility to gum disease and cavities. The infections could potentially impact the baby indirectly, and it typically raises your likelihood of a miscarriage or premature birth.
For optimal dental health, you should see your dentist before conception in order to enter pregnancy with a healthy mouth. This is also in your best interest if you need extensive dental treatment. This way the dentist can handle it prior to pregnancy and not stress about how it may affect your baby.
Visit your dentist for frequent dental cleanings throughout the pregnancy, too. This will help prevent any other health problems that may appear.
2. Look Out for Gingivitis
Even if you make regular dental visits, it is still imperative to watch for any signs of gum disease in between visits. Increased blood flow and hormonal changes can cause pregnancy gingivitis. With this disease, the germs that go after your gums can access the bloodstream and compromise your pregnancy. You can prevent this by looking out for early warning signs, including:
- Sensitive gums and teeth that make it difficult to chew
- Bleeding gums
- Redness and swelling
- Bad breath
- Loose teeth
If you experience any of these symptoms, reach out to your dentist. Do not worry if you see some pink blood when brushing (without other symptoms). This usually happens when your blood volume spikes.
Flossing gets the surfaces of your teeth that your toothbrush bristles cannot, preventing plaque buildup and bacteria. Flossing also helps prevent gum disease and tooth decay. Floss at least once every day, or even twice if possible.
4. Brush Consistently
Morning sickness may make you hesitant about brushing, but it is especially critical to keep brushing twice per day. Your teeth are more at risk during pregnancy than usual. It is best to brush after your morning sickness passes. If you have trouble with gagging or taste sensitivity, try using a kid’s toothbrush and toothpaste with a less intense flavor.
5. Use Baking Soda
In the first trimester of pregnancy, you will be faced with morning sickness. Though not as common, it could even happen in your second trimester. Stimulated by dramatic hormone shifts, morning sickness can trigger frequent vomiting. This vomiting fills your mouth with stomach acid, which in turn harms your teeth. In fact, vomit can generally cause tooth decay if not taken care of quickly.
To neutralize the acid, try mixing a teaspoon of baking soda with warm water. It will benefit you to do this a few times a day to help protect your teeth. The baking soda will also help remove that sour taste.
6. Limit Sugar Intake
When you consume sugar, it gets stuck to your teeth. Microscopic bacteria appear in your mouth to eat the sugar and produce acid, which is how sugar ruins your teeth.
Try not to fully eliminate carbs while pregnant. Regardless, it is recommended to have your daily dose through whole grains, fruits, and other healthy carbohydrates.
Food cravings can make this tough, but you can fight them with compromise. If you eat sweets or extra carbs, wash your mouth or brush your teeth right after.
7. Manage Your Pica
Some women go through weird cravings while pregnant. These are known as pica. Women with pica may crave inedible items including:
- Laundry detergent
These items can not only significantly damage your teeth, but also cause serious infections. Some of these items can also harm you and the baby.
If you experience cravings for any potentially harmful non-food items, consult with your doctor. These items can affect you and your baby directly and bring out nutritional deficiencies.
8. Have Your Prenatal Vitamins
Prenatal vitamins can reinforce your dental health and your baby’s development. Your body needs more calcium while pregnant. A calcium deficiency can trigger tooth decay. Taking daily prenatal vitamins filled with calcium, vitamin D, and other vitamins or minerals help keep your teeth strong during the pregnancy.
9. Don’t Deny Imaging
If your dentist chooses to take x-rays throughout your pregnancy, there’s a good reason behind it. While you shouldn’t expose your baby to excess radiation, it’s also crucial to remember that the dental provider will utilize lead shields to protect your womb. A one-time image doesn’t significantly double the chance of the baby having any negative side effects. In actuality, you place your child at more risk by not diagnosing something potentially dire.
10. Track the Plaque
Certain women have plaque buildup during pregnancy. Your dentist can give you a safe antimicrobial mouthwash to help prevent this condition. Rinse once a day to keep the plaque away.
Show Your Baby a Healthy Smile After Stopping By WhiteWing Dental For Routine Dental Visits
One of the first things your baby will witness when entering the world is your smile. Keep your smile healthy with these tips.
Enjoy your pregnancy, but don’t let the excitement become a justification to disregard your dental health. Set up your appointment with us today!