Pregnancy is a time when our physical health and the health of the developing baby becomes our top priority. However, many people are unaware of the importance of oral health before and during pregnancy.
The health of our mouth is important for two reasons, first, the demands of pregnancy on the body can increase our risk of developing gum disease and tooth decay. Second, if our oral health is allowed to deteriorate, this can have a negative effect on the developing baby.
What you need to know
Dental health is important for both you and your baby. Researchers have found that the presence of gum disease can increase the risk of premature birth and low birth weight. Specifically, it has been estimated that 18 out of 100 premature births may be triggered by periodontal disease.
Good oral hygiene habits before pregnancy lessen the risk of developing problems during pregnancy. Brushing twice a day and flossing once a day is essential for preventing gum disease. Visiting your dentist regularly is also helpful as the cleaning you get at the dentist is highly superior to what you can do on your own at home. Regular visits to your dentist reduces the risk of gum disease and ensures the overall health of your mouth.
Tell your dentist if you are pregnant
Your dentist and your dental hygienist need to know you are pregnant. They may put off x-rays until after your baby is born. If x-rays are unavoidable, extra precautions will be taken to ensure the safety of your baby.
Morning sickness and dental health
Some women experience what is typically referred to as morning sickness. If you are vomiting, do not brush your teeth immediately after. Instead, rinse your mouth with tap water and then follow up with mouthwash. This is because when teeth are covered in stomach acids, vigorous brushing can damage the enamel. Wait at least an hour before brushing your teeth.
If you are nauseous and brushing your teeth makes you gag or retch, there are a few things you can do to help. Using a smaller toothbrush can help minimize the body’s reflex to brushing your teeth. It also helps to take your time while brushing. Slow your breathing. Experiment with closing your eyes or distracting yourself by looking at something interesting to focus your attention. If you take your mind off brushing your teeth while brushing slowly it may help. For more tips and information for pregnant women and dental care, you can read the full article here…
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