You experience many different health changes during pregnancy leading to the need to change many regular routines and habits. One of the changes you experience, increased progesterone and estrogen levels, can also have an impact on your dental hygiene. It is important for you and your baby that you understand how this will affect your health and how you can maintain oral hygiene during pregnancy.
TAKE EXTRA STEPS TO CARE FOR YOUR SMILE DURING PREGNANCY
- Gingivitis/Gum Disease
- Due to the increase in hormone levels, your gums become extra sensitive and tender. Swollen and bleeding gums are often a result., which leads to a higher risk of gingivitis or periodontitis. If not treated or prevented, this can result in tooth loss.
- Plaque is also more likely to build up on your teeth during this time, especially if your gums become swollen and begin bleeding regularly. Increased plaque build up results in a higher risk of cavities and gum disease.
- Acid Erosion
- Morning sickness brings more than just nausea. The acid brought about by morning sickness wears down the enamel on your teeth, opening them up to bacteria and cavities.
- Talk to Your Dentist
- Your dentist will take extra precautions when you are pregnant to ensure your health, your baby’s health, and your smile’s health. Start by telling your dentist that you are pregnant so they take extra care when performing x-rays. Also tell them what medications you are taking so they can help instruct you on dental care.
- Due to your increased risk of dental problems during this time, make one or two extra appointments with your dentist so they can keep an eye on emerging issues.
- Brushing and Flossing
- With the increased gum sensitivity you should consider switching to a softer toothbrush during pregnancy to avoid aggravating your gums.
- Be sure to brush at least two times a day to combat the extra plaque buildup.
- Floss regularly to help prevent gingivitis and periodontitis. Keeping your mouth clean is essential to help prevent and control gum disease.
- Choosing foods low in sugar can help you avoid tooth decay and cavities because less sugar will be trapped between your teeth.
- Choose food high in nutritional value with plenty of calcium and vitamin C to keep your teeth strong.
- After bouts of morning sickness, rinse your mouth with water to dilute the acids and keep your enamel intact.
Your oral hygiene may be at risk while you are pregnant but it doesn’t have to suffer if you take steps to counter those risks. Extra care and precaution during these special months can help keep your smile strong and healthy. Visit your dentist today to understand the risks and build a preventative care plan for your smile and maintain your oral hygiene during pregnancy.