If you’re welcoming a little bundle of joy, you’re probably familiar about best practices you need to adopt to maintain yours and your baby’s health at the highest possible level. Unfortunately, oral health is sometimes neglected during pregnancy. Keeping good oral health is as important as other aspects of your pregnancy routine.
Here are some great habits to adopt in order to prevent problems that can emerge during pregnancy.
Smoking is unhealthy in so many ways - regardless of your gender and age. It’s twice as dangerous during pregnancy as it affects your baby’s health as well. Did you know that smoking increases risks of gum disease, premature labour and miscarriage? Even worse, problems that can occur during pregnancy won’t stop when the baby is born. Children of mothers who smoked during pregnancy are at increased risk of having asthma and weak lungs. Quitting smoking is the first and the most important thing you can do to have a healthy baby. Nicotine patches can be useful to overcome the crisis.
Harmful bacteria found in our mouth, eat all the food leftovers decomposing on the teeth. This results in gum disease, the condition which causes serious health problems such as heart attack and dementia. During pregnancy, the risk of gum disease is higher than usual, so you need to take special care. It is normal for plaque to form on our teeth and there’s little we can do to prevent it. You can remove it with regular brushing, flossing and using mouthwash. These actions will reduce both the levels of plaque and the risk of gum disease. If you experience symptoms such as swelling, bleeding and painful gums, pay more attention to your diet. Avoid sugars, massage gums with your fingers, and make sure you take plenty of vitamin C.
Not all pregnant women experience morning sickness and vomiting. But those who do should know that frequent vomiting causes tooth erosion. In order to prevent this rinse your mouth immediately after vomiting (use water or mouthwash) and wait 30 minutes before brushing your teeth. If you brush straight after vomiting, you’ll damage the tooth enamel, softened by the acid. Stay hydrated, use aromatherapy, drink ginger tea and allow yourself to take a rest. Keep a diary of your sickness and find out which foods are causing it.
It’s recommended that you see your dentist at least once every 6 months. During pregnancy, dental checkups are a must. Even if you are not experiencing any symptoms, your dentist can spot the issues before you do and the treatment itself will be less painful. Gum inflammation and cavities need to be treated immediately. Delaying the necessary treatment could result in significant risk to your baby’s health. It’s advised to do a dental cleaning to prevent gingivitis. If you’re located in the Gold Coast or Brisbane, book an appointment with us and let us know how far along you are, so we can advise you on your oral care.
Did you know that your baby’s teeth begin to develop during the first three months of pregnancy? To help both their normal development and the protection of your own teeth, opt for the diet with the right nutrients. Those would be foods with lots of calcium and vitamin C, as well as dairy products. To boost your energy levels and make sure that you take enough carbs, opt for fruit that is rich in fibre and vitamins. Pregnant women often have sugar cravings, but try to control that habit and limit the intake of sugary foods. Avoid snacks between meals, and if you can’t resist them, go for a healthy alternative. Nuts are considered to be the healthiest snack, but talk to your doctor about the amount you can take.
Many experts recommend 2-minute brushing minimum, but if you’re pregnant, we’d advise going the extra mile, brushing 4 minutes in the morning and evening. While pregnant, you’re more susceptible to gingivitis and it’s best to remove the plaque thoroughly. This applies to all oral hygiene habits. If you could afford to skip daily flossing before, now you shouldn’t. If you already brush twice per day and floss once per day, keep up with this routine. If not, now is the time to start! Don’t forget the mouthwash and tongue scraper.
If you have any questions about your daily routine, feel free to talk to your dentist and ask them for an advice.