During pregnancy, your mouth needs a little extra care. Pregnancy affects a woman’s body body in numerous way, and the teeth and gums are not immune from all the hormones and changes going on. If you or a loved one is currently expecting (or planning to be), it’s a good idea to keep certain aspects of dental health in mind. Here are a few things to consider:
Pregnancy Gingivitis: Thanks to hormonal changes, many women may find they are prone to a mild form of gum disease known as pregnancy gingivitis. Approximately 40% of pregnant women experience it, with gums that are red, tender, and sore. Keeping your teeth clean is the best way to help prevent gingivitis, and more frequent cleanings may be recommended to help control gingivitis. Untreated gingivitis can lead to more serious gum disease, so call our office if you notice any changes in your mouth during pregnancy.
Morning Sickness: Morning sickness and frequent vomiting can expose your teeth to the erosion of stomach acids. Be sure to rinse you mouth well if you’ve had a bout of morning sickness that resulted in vomiting. You can even try making an alkaline rinse with a teaspoon of baking soda mixed with water to help stop stomach acid from attacking your teeth. The baking soda’s alkalinity will help neutralize the acid.
Increased Appetite: All the extra nutrients your body needs means pregnancy can cause an increase in appetite. If the desire to eat more leads to tons of snacking, that can increase the odds of tooth decay. Snacks high in carbs, sugar, or acidity are the worst. Try limiting snacks to certain times, choosing healthy snacks most of the time, and drinking plenty of water.
Nutrition and Baby’s Teeth: Your baby’s teeth will begin developing between the third and sixth month of pregnancy. Great nutrition is always stressed during pregnancy, and sufficient quantities of nutrients like vitamins, protein, and minerals like calcium and phosphorous are essential to the best development of your baby and his or her little baby teeth.
Pregnancy comes with plenty of things that require extra caution and care, and your teeth on the list! Brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing between your teeth once a day, and getting regular check-ups are all even more important while you’re pregnant. Eating a balanced diet and limiting between-meal snacks is a good idea too. Call us at Mall of Georgia Dentistry if you want to make to sure that your dental routine is doing the best for you and your growing baby. With so many future smiles to look forward to, start taking great care of them now!