How to Maintain Good Oral Health During Pregnancy
The most overlooked piece of advice for women who are planning to become pregnant is to visit their dentist for a checkup. Increasing evidence suggests a strong correlation between your oral health and your overall health.
For this reason, it is very important to discuss any oral health concerns you might have before pregnancy.
For starters, good oral hygiene habits before, during, and after your pregnancy include:
- Brushing your teeth at least twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste.
- Flossing between your teeth.
- Visiting your dentist regularly.
Dental Tips to Remember for Good Oral Health
- As a general rule, avoid dental procedures during the first trimester and the second half of the third trimester if possible.
- Hold off on elective procedures, such as professional teeth whitening, until after the baby is born.
- Keep an eye out for dental infections, abscesses, gum bleeding or tooth aches during your pregnancy, and seek prompt dental attention if you have any such symptoms.
Oral Health and Your Pregnancy
Your lifestyle, including eating habits, exercise habits, and yes, your dental hygiene habits, impacts your health and the health of your baby.
If you don’t keep your gums and teeth healthy you run the risk of gestational gingivitis, a condition in which plaque builds up on the teeth and irritates the gums. Some symptoms to watch out for include red, swollen gums and bleeding.
There is increasing data that suggests that gingivitis is related to the premature birth of underweight children, and pregnant women with gum disease may be more likely to have a premature baby.
It is commonly suggested that your first dental visit while pregnant be between the fourth and sixth month of pregnancy.
Maintaining Good Oral Health: Morning Sickness
Many women experience some form of morning sickness during their pregnancy. This may include nausea, vomiting, and heartburn.
The first instinct for many people is to brush their teeth immediately after vomiting. From a dental perspective, this is to be discouraged. The acid that remains in your mouth after vomiting can be very harmful to your tooth enamel if your teeth are brushed.
Instead, rinse your mouth out with water and follow with a fluoridated mouthwash. Wait about an hour and then brush your teeth.
Talk to a Dentist in Richmond, Virginia
If you need to see a dentist urgently, make sure he or she knows that you are pregnant. Talk to your dentist about any stress you are experiencing, previous medical operations, and medicines you are taking, as this will affect the way the dentist can help. Moreover, the dentist may want to consult with your doctor before starting any dental treatment.