When you're pregnant, you know how important it is to take special care of your body. However, you should also know that pregnancy is a time to take extra special care of your teeth and gums. That's because hormonal changes in your body during pregnancy can increase your chances of developing gum disease.
So while you are pregnant, make sure you practice good oral hygiene, which means brushing and flossing every day. By combining this routine with a healthy, balanced diet and regular dental visits, you will not only help avoid dental problems of your own, you will also contribute to the healthy development of your baby.
How does pregnancy affect my teeth and gums?
Pregnancy causes hormonal fluctuations that increase your risk for gum disease. The changing hormone levels in your body can make your gums more sensitive to harmful plaque, the colourless, sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on teeth. Furthermore, if you already have signs of gum disease, being pregnant may make it worse. This is why it's vital to pay more careful attention to your daily brushing and flossing routine to keep plaque under control.
As soon as you believe that you are pregnant, tell your dentist because it may not be safe to have x-rays during pregnancy. You should also let your dentist know if you are trying to get pregnant: knowing this can help in planning x-rays or other treatments.
Tell your dentist what medicines you are taking and if your physician has given you any specific medical advice, as it may affect the treatment given.
What should I know about my diet?
Your body is the sole source of nourishment for your unborn child. Check with your physician as he or she is the best source for detailed information on what to eat while you are pregnant. In general, however, you should try to eat more foods that are rich in calcium - these are especially good for developing teeth and bones.
A time to be healthy and happy!
As a mother-to-be, what you do to take care of your health (including your diet) affects the development of your baby's teeth and gums. And as your body goes through a process of change, it is also important to pay particular attention to your own oral hygiene. Maintaining a good daily oral hygiene routine can help keep potential problems from developing.
Don't forget that this is a time in your life to enjoy the natural changes that take place in your body, so radiate health and vitality by keeping your smile bright!
Pregnancy and oral hygiene - a quick guide:
- Brush thoroughly at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss daily to remove plaque from between your teeth and under the gum line.
- Eat a well balanced diet, rich in calcium; this will help you and your unborn baby get all the nutrients you both need and help keep your teeth and gums healthy.
- Keep your dental office informed about your pregnancy and any changes in medication.