It’s a new year, and for those who are pregnant, a time to prepare for new life. Taking good care of your baby begins with you during this important stage. When you’re expecting, even your teeth could use some TLC. Here are five ways to care for your teeth when pregnant:
- Switch to a softer toothbrush. This will help you to apply gentle pressure to your gums. According to BabyCenter, “about half of moms-to-be have swollen, red, tendergums that bleed when flossed or brushed.” This is due to pregnancy gingivitis, or mild inflammation of the gums during pregnancy. Rising hormone levels can be partly to blame for your gums’ sensitivity to bacteria in plaque. This leads us to the next point…
- Take good care of your gums. Did you know that periodontal disease during pregnancy is linked to premature birth and low birth weight? Along with periodontal disease, the March of Dimes cites gingivitis and tooth decay as conditions that pregnant women are more susceptible to. We’ve got a secret weapon for your gums—floss!
- Don’t skip the dentist. Some women are worried about getting x-rays while pregnant. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists states that dental cleanings and x-rays are safe for pregnant women, but talk to your denti
st if this is a concern for you. Alameda Pediatric Dentistry recommends expecting moms shield the thyroid and abdomen during dental x-rays. Routine preventative care should benefit the baby, as well, who’ll experience lower risk of exposure to cavity-causing bacteria.
- Brush regularly. Acidity levels in the mouth increase during pregnancy, which increases the potential for cavities. If vomiting due to morning sickness is an issue for you, this can also create acidic environment. Fortunately, this is nothing a good, regular brushing can’t cure.
- Eat well—for you and the baby. According to First 5 Sacramento, diet and dental health deficiencies during pregnancy may cause changes in baby’s tooth formation and leave their teeth at greater risk for decay later in life. Children of mothers who consume sugar in large quantities are four times more likely to suffer from tooth decay than those of moms with low sugar consumption. Instead, choose foods that are high in calcium
and phosphorous, vitamins and minerals.
Have you recently given birth to your new baby? If so, congrats! Here are 5 Post-Natal Tips for Adorable Smiles.