Dental Care During Pregnancy

Posted on: 19 January 2015

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As any pregnant woman knows, the body goes through many changes during pregnancy. From swollen feet to thicker hair, there's not much you can do to avoid many of these changes, but when it comes to your oral health--which is at risk during pregnancy--there are many steps you can take to stay healthy. A dentist, like those at Northland Village Dental Centre, can answer any questions you have after reading this piece. 

Brush And Floss Frequently

You've probably heard the myth that says new moms have more cavities because the baby steals calcium from the mother's teeth. While it is true that many new moms have higher rates of cavities, it's not because the baby is stealing important minerals. According to Directions in Dentistry, there are several reasons for this occurrence:

  1. Morning Sickness and Acid Reflux: Throwing up or experiencing reflux can coat the teeth in acid, leading to decay if not cleaned off promptly.
  2. Change in Oral Hygiene: Many new moms' oral care routines suffer because all their time is spent tending to their new child.
  3. Dietary Changes: An increase in cravings for unhealthy and/or sugary foods can encourage more decay.

If morning sickness is making it difficult for you to brush your teeth, try using a bland toothpaste. And make it a point to at least rinse your mouth out (but preferably brush your teeth) after each bout of sickness.

 Be Vigilant

While progesterone is good for pregnancy, it's not so good for teeth. This hormone can worsen the effect of plaque, which causes tooth decay. During pregnancy, progesterone levels are much higher, so at the first hint of gum disease, toothache, or other oral health issues, contact your doctor.

It's a good idea to schedule regular cleanings during your pregnancy before any problems become apparent. Dental cleanings can help you avoid gingivitis and give your dentist the chance to catch and problems before they become serious. If an x-ray is necessary, make sure your dentist knows you are pregnant so he or she can exercise extreme caution during the procedure to keep you and the baby safe.

Eat Wisely

A baby begins to develop teeth between the first three to six months of pregnancy. Eating a diet rich in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, and low in fat and sugar can not only keep you healthy, but it can encourage your baby to develop healthy teeth. Focus on calcium, vitamins D, C, and A, phosphorous, and protein during these months. A prenatal vitamin is a good idea.