Are you mommy-in-the-making? During this exciting and enjoyable period, you’re so focused on perfecting everything for your bundle of joy that it’s easy to ignore your health, particularly your oral health.
However, keep in mind that your little one’s first teeth start developing in your first trimester. The pregnancy-linked hormonal changes can worsen specific dental concerns, making your child also vulnerable.
So, you must keep good dental health while pregnant.
1) Visit the dentist regularly
The dentist plays a significant role in keeping your and your baby’s oral health optimum during pregnancy. So, don’t miss out on your dental appointments merely because you are expecting. Today, regular gum examinations are vital, since pregnancy leads to hormonal changes which increase the risk of pregnancy gingivitis. It makes your gums weak, and they bleed easily.
You must tell your dental practitioner about your pregnancy and also about all the medications you are on. This enables the dental practitioner to treat you accordingly, i.e. either perform a dental procedure right away or call it off until post-delivery.
For instance, any elective dental treatment is a strict no-no during the entire period of pregnancy. Also, before meeting up with your dentist, consult your gynaecologist for specific precautions that you’d need to observe while undergoing any dental procedure.
2) Be wary of severe oral diseases
The hormonal variations linked with pregnancy increase your chances of suffering from severe oral disorders like gingivitis, periodontal disease and pregnancy tumours. While pregnant, if you experience symptoms related to these diseases, you must visit your dental practitioner at the earliest. This way, you can keep the symptoms from worsening in time.
Pregnancy gingivitis generally causes inflamed, swollen or weak gums. Also watch for symptoms like loose teeth, gaps between them, bad breath, and pus building up inside the gums.
Pregnancy gingivitis if not cured in time, can further lead to periodontal disease. This condition is extremely worrisome as it heightens the likelihood of preterm labour and hence, premature birth, which also negatively impacts your newborn’s weight. If you’re suffering from periodontal disease, you will experience conditions like bleeding, inflamed or tender gums, loss of tooth or teeth, bad breath, and infection.
You can expect to develop oral tumours if you continue to suffer from gingivitis or even worse, periodontal disease. These tumours won’t let you eat or talk comfortably.
3) Brush at least two times in a day
While brushing your teeth, keep in mind that now, it’s about the two of you! Pregnancy-inflicted hormonal changes increase the accumulation of bacteria in your mouth. Brushing three times a day, instead of only two times, helps to combat this problem. Use a soft toothbrush so that you can avoid hurting the gums.
Also, brushing with the proper technique is vital. Hold your toothbrush inclined at 45 degrees to the gums. Brush backwards and forwards gently in brief strokes. Make sure to brush all the surfaces of your teeth. With your toothbrush in the vertical position and by applying gentle pressure, clean the inner sides of your front teeth.
Make sure to use a fluoride toothpaste and floss every day. This way, you’d undoubtedly have healthy gums, and, what’s more, your bundle of joy will too! Don’t forget to scrape your tongue every time you brush your teeth. Bacteria love to feast on the food that you eat and tend to accumulate inside parts of your tongue also.
Morning sickness, typically occurring at the time of your first trimester is a common hindrance to brushing. Not to worry – rinse your mouth with baking soda water an hour before cleaning. By not brushing immediately, you can prevent tooth erosion.
If you feel like throwing up while brushing, consider switching to a toothbrush similar to the one designed for kids, such toothbrushes have compact or smaller-sized heads. To make brushing even easier during your pregnancy, concentrate on listening to catchy tunes.
Also, use an unflavoured toothpaste to keep morning sickness from hindering brushing your teeth. Consult your dentist about the most suitable brand.
4) Manage the geographic tongue
An unusual symptom that you might experience during pregnancy, the geographic tonguecondition occurs when your tongue loses itspapillae in some parts of its surface. This condition leads to inflamed and irregular patches, giving your tongue a map-like look. The patches keep varying in size and shifting to different parts of your tongue.
The geographic tongue is mostly a cause of pregnancy-related hormonal changes. While suffering from this symptom, your tongue becomes very sensitive to spicy or acidic food items and also to toothpaste, causing a burning sensation.
Get your tongue examined by the dentist. The common treatments for geographic tongue include an anaesthetic mouthwash and oral anti-inflammatories.
5) Adopt a Gum-healthy Diet
Several dietary changes are essential for protecting your gums while you’re pregnant. This way you’d manage to stave off pregnancy gingivitis and periodontal disease. Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet is key.
Overall, make certain your food is rich in calcium, and vitamins B12 and C. Generally, dairy products like cheese, low-fat milk and yoghurt provide you with these vital minerals and benefit your baby’s gums. Drinking a sufficient quantity of water is another essential part of a healthy diet.
It’s very common to crave sweet foods and drinks when you’re pregnant. However, make sure to avoid them so that you can prevent tooth decay, and hence protect your baby’s oral health also. Make it a habit to snack on fruits, vegetables and healthy nuts, instead.
So, make sure to keep your mouth healthy before your little one is born. Thanks to the modern trends in dentistry for adults, it’s easily possible for you to have excellent dental health at such a crucial phase in your life.