Pregnancy is a time of great change in the body, including the mouth. Hormonal changes increase the risk of developing gum disease. Harmful bacteria from oral infection can affect the health of the growing baby and cause premature labor, low birth weight or other maternal problems. It’s important for you to take good care of your teeth and gums while pregnant.
Below are some tips to help you maintain good oral health before, during, and after pregnancy and some facts relating oral health and pregnancy.
Before you get pregnant
If you are having a planned pregnancy, make a dental appointment before getting pregnant (if possible). In this way, your teeth can be professionally cleaned, your gum tissue can be carefully examined, and any oral health problems identified can be treated in advance of your pregnancy.
Dental Care While Pregnant
· Tell your dentist (and doctor) if you are pregnant. As a precautionary measure, dental treatments during the first trimester (i.e. 1st 3 months) and second half of the third trimester (i.e. 8th and 9th month) should be avoided as much as possible. These are critical times in the baby’s growth and development and it’s simply wise to avoid exposing the mother to procedures that could in any way influence the baby’s growth and development. However, routine dental care can be received during the second trimester (i.e. 4th to 6th month). All elective dental procedures should be postponed until after the delivery.
· Tell your dentist the names and dosages of all drugs you are taking – including medications and prenatal vitamins prescribed by your doctor – as well as any specific medical advice your doctor has given you. Your dentist may need to alter your dental treatment plan based on this information. Certain drugs — such as tetracycline — can affect the development of your child’s teeth and should not be given during pregnancy.
· Avoid dental X-rays during pregnancy. If X-rays are essential (such as in a dental emergency), your dentist will use extreme caution to safeguard you and your baby. Advances in technology have made X-rays much safer today than in past decades.
· Don’t skip your dental checkup appointment simply because you are pregnant. Now more than any other time, regular dental checkup is very important.
· Follow good oral hygiene practices to prevent and/or reduce gingival problems, including brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day. Use a good-quality, soft-bristled toothbrush. Use toothpaste that contains fluoride, and brush for at least two minutes to remove the plaque that forms on your teeth.
· If morning sickness is keeping you from brushing your teeth, change to bland-tasting toothpaste during pregnancy. Ask your dentist or hygienist to recommend brands.
· Rinse your mouth with water or a mouth rinse if you suffer from morning sickness and have bouts of frequent vomiting.
· Sweet cravings are common during pregnancy. However, keep in mind that the more frequently you snack, the greater the chance of developing tooth decay. Additionally, some studies have shown that the bacteria responsible for tooth decay are passed from the mother to the child. So be careful of what you eat.
· Eat a healthy, balanced diet. Your baby’s first teeth begin to develop about three months into pregnancy. Healthy diets containing dairy products, cheese, and yogurt are a good source of essential minerals like calcium which is good for baby’s developing teeth, gums, and bones.
After you have had your baby
If you experienced any gum problems during your pregnancy, see your dentist soon after delivery to have your entire mouth examined and periodontal health evaluated.
In conclusion, healthy your teeth and gums, you can expect healthy child with smiling future. So stay healthy stay happy