Baby on Board! Congratulations on embarking upon this exciting and busy journey of your life. Pregnancy is an extremely joyful period; yet, it is characterized by complex physical, emotional, and hormonal changes that affect a woman’s overall wellbeing, including oral health.

The surging pregnancy hormones like progesterone and estrogen can wreak havoc on your oral wellbeing. For instance, these hormones cause blood vessels around your gums to dilate, making you vulnerable to gum diseases.

Moreover, emerging evidence shows that poor prenatal dental condition is associated with low fetal weight and premature delivery. Consequently, dental experts encourage expecting women to pay attention to their oral health.

During your pregnancy, you are probably busy making multiple trips to your obstetrician, going through a battery of health tests, and decorating the nursery. Hence, it can be easy to forget about your oral health.
Use the valuable tips shared in this article to care for your oral health and avert common pregnancy-related dental issues.

1. Be Aware of the Pre-Natal Oral Care Myths

Several myths exist around dental health and pregnancy, dissuading expecting women from visiting their dentists. Being aware of these myths can help you take care of oral conditions in time, allowing you to enjoy a healthy pregnancy. Here are the top three myths about pre-natal oral health that we have attempted to bust.

• Myth: Undergoing a dental treatment during pregnancy can harm the baby.
• Fact: Research proves that it is safe for pregnant women to undergo dental treatment with local anesthetics. Moreover, regular prenatal dental checks prevent serious oral health issues and ensure positive pregnancy outcomes.

• Myth: Dental X-rays can harm the fetus.
• Fact: X-rays help dentists detect serious oral issues like a hidden decays and bone loss. According to the American Dental Association, dental x-rays are safe during pregnancy. Depending on your condition, your dentist can decide whether or not you need an x-ray.

• Myth: You should brush immediately after a morning sickness episode.
• Fact: No one enjoys the aftertaste of a vomiting episode. However, by brushing your teeth immediately after vomiting, you are reducing the body’s natural defense mechanism, leaving it susceptible to decays. Instead, rinse with a baking soda solution to change the taste in your mouth and neutralize the acidic medium caused by the gastric acids.

2. Make Flossing a Routine

The increased level of progesterone is proven to support the growth of plaque bacteria, making way for numerous oral health issues like pregnancy gingivitis. When left untreated, the disease can progress to damage your gums and jawbone, a condition called as periodontitis.

Therefore, apart from practicing good oral hygiene like brushing twice a day and rinsing with an anti-microbial mouthwash, dental practitioners recommend flossing once a day to remove the plaque and food particles between your teeth. Include flossing into your routine to keep a check on the plaque and tartar buildup.

3. Eat a Tooth-Friendly Diet

What you eat during these three trimesters will not only affect your teeth, but also your baby’s oral health. Increase your daily intake of nutrient-rich foods like milk, cheese, yogurt, green vegetables, fruits, and almonds as these are rich in vitamins and minerals, which are essential for healthy teeth and gums.

Research has shown that expecting women are prone to cavities as pregnancy symptoms like morning sickness and heartburn create an acidic environment in the mouth, eroding the outer layer of the teeth (enamel).

Taking a midnight snack during pregnancy is quite normal; however, going to bed without brushing after eating a snack can significantly increase your chances of dental caries or cavities. Additionally, if you have increased your carbohydrates and sugar intake during this period, it can cause tooth decay and an increased amount of plaque bacteria.

Though it’s normal to feel the urge to snack constantly during pregnancy, frequent snacking can cause gradual tooth decay. Therefore, be extremely picky about the food items you choose. Low-sugar foods like fruits, vegetables, cheese, crackers, and unsweetened yogurt make perfect pregnancy snacks.

4. See Your Oral Health Expert Regularly

Oral health is an integral part of prenatal care. Watch out for signs of gum disease like swollen or bleeding gums and talk to your prenatal care provider and dentist about the symptoms.

According to the American Family Physician, a renowned medical journal, the changing hormone levels during pregnancy can cause the ligaments around your gums to relax, thereby loosening the grip on the teeth. If you see signs of loose teeth, contact your dentist immediately.

Look for dental care providers in your area that offer a comprehensive oral health care regimen for expecting women. For instance, if you reside in Chicago, consult a Chicago dentist team that uses the latest technological tools and techniques, yet makes you feel comfortable during the dental procedure.

Furthermore, make sure your dentist knows you are pregnant. Tell him/her about the prescription and over-the-counter medications you are taking to reduce the chances of him/her prescribing medications that interact with the current course of therapy.

Pregnancy is full of hormonal fluctuations that can adversely affect your physical, mental, and dental health. As you wait to hold your little one in your arms, remember to pay special heed to your oral wellbeing. Use the tips shared in this post to maintain good oral health during and after your pregnancy.


Author's Bio: 

Earl Reser is a freelance writer & blogger based in the United States and she has been in this writing profession for the last 5 years. She is ready to help anyone that has to do with words/contents.