Pregnancy and oral health: 5 considerations for expecting mums
Pregnancy is an exciting time of life when new mothers are encouraged to take care of themselves. Whilst dental health is often overlooked at this important time, we’re here to walk you through how taking care of your teeth and gums during pregnancy can give you a healthy smile, that’s not just for you, but for your little one too.
Pregnancy causes hormonal changes that can have some unexpected effects on your mouth. Understanding the unique oral health challenges that arise during pregnancy is key to maintaining a radiant smile and ensuring the well-being of both mum and bub.
The effects of pregnancy on your oral health:
- Gingivitis and Pregnancy Gingivitis: Hormonal changes can make gums more susceptible to inflammation, causing pregnancy gingivitis. Proper oral hygiene is key to preventing this condition.
- Morning Sickness and Tooth Erosion: Frequent vomiting due to morning sickness exposes teeth to stomach acids, potentially leading to the erosion of your tooth enamel. Try using a fluoride mouthwash after vomiting to help neutralise the acid or rinse with water to help minimise damage.
- Increased Blood Flow: Enhanced blood circulation during pregnancy can cause gums to become swollen, sensitive, and prone to bleeding. Regular flossing and gentle brushing are essential.
- Pregnancy Tumors: Some pregnant women develop non-cancerous overgrowths of gum tissue called pregnancy tumors. While typically harmless, they often disappear after the baby is born. If you experience unexpected swelling, you should visit your Pacific Smiles Dentist.
- Cravings and Oral Hygiene: Pregnancy cravings might lean towards sugary or acidic foods. Maintaining diligent oral hygiene by continuing to brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled brush, and floss once a day will help to prevent cavities.
Ways you can nurture your smile while pregnant:
Regular Dental Check-ups: Prioritise dental appointments during pregnancy to monitor oral health changes and address any emerging issues promptly.
Safe Dental Procedures: Many routine dental treatments are safe during pregnancy. Communicate your pregnancy status to your dentist for tailored recommendations.
Oral Hygiene: Brushing with fluoride toothpaste twice a day and flossing daily remain essential practices. Opt for a soft-bristle toothbrush to avoid gum irritation.
Balanced Diet: Nourish yourself and your baby with a balanced diet rich in nutrients. Incorporate dairy products for calcium and leafy greens for folic acid.
Stay Hydrated: Drinking water helps maintain a moist oral environment, counteracting dry mouth and promoting saliva production.
By continuing proper oral care practices and seeking professional care, expecting mums-to-be can make sure their smiles stay as bright as their journey into motherhood. Your trusted Pacific Smiles Dentist is here for you, offering personalised guidance and expert care every step of the way. Book your next check-up today!