Finding out that you are pregnant can be ultra-exciting. It’s safe to say that you’re probably not thinking much about your teeth as your belly rounds out over the course of several months. We can admit that there are more exciting aspects of your current state to think about, like baby showers and birthing plans and breathing techniques. Still, there are good reasons to be extra mindful of dental health during your pregnancy.
Pregnancy Affects More than your Midsection
One of the central aspects of pregnancy is the wild way in which hormones change month after month. Certain hormones increase in preparation for childbirth. These hormones allow the muscles and soft tissues of the body to become more elastic, and they don’t pick and choose; they affect all soft tissues, including the gums. It is for this reason that many pregnant women notice that their gums bleed when they brush and floss.
The softening of the gums is problematic because looseness around teeth invites bacteria, and bacteria can cause unnecessary inflammation. Pregnant women are more susceptible to gingivitis and therefore need to take impeccable care of their gumline with daily oral practice.
Tips for Oral Care During Pregnancy
- Visit your dentist for a checkup and cleaning before you become pregnant, or at about the 4- to the 6-month mark of your pregnancy. Tell your dentist if you are pregnant so care can be tailored to your needs.
- Brush your teeth morning and night. Floss carefully every night before bed, making sure to move the string gently beneath the gum line of each tooth. Use a flossing stick to reach the back of your mouth more easily.
- Snack on crunchy fruits and vegetables. This polishes teeth and scrubs plaque away from the gumline.
- Sip water throughout the day to prevent problems associated with dry mouth, which may also occur during pregnancy. Sipping water keeps you hydrated, encourages saliva flow, and it also dilutes sugar and acid residue in the mouth.
- Women who have exceptionally strong or persistent morning sickness are encouraged to rinse their mouth often. The acidity caused by nausea and vomiting increases the risk of tooth erosion. Don’t brush extra, just rinse.
Mom’s general health and oral health are essential for a healthy baby. If you have questions about dental care during pregnancy or are experiencing a dental problem, call our Scottsdale office at (480) 657-6981. We’re happy to assist you.