Dental care during pregnancy is not just an option; it’s a must.
During this period, women are more prone to oral diseases that can affect their child’s growth. Poor dental care can lead to premature births and relatively unfortunate health conditions compared to those from a parent with healthy oral care.
One of the prevalent oral diseases among pregnant women is periodontal disease. This bacterial gum disease feeds on your sugar intake. As it grows, it worsens the protective coat of the teeth, or enamel, leading eventually to tooth loss and decay.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 60% to 75% of pregnant people have gingivitis, an early stage of periodontal disease.
Gingivitis can emerge during pregnancy despite few risks of it before due to hormonal and even dietary changes, triggering the gums to swell and turn red. Another potential trigger, vomiting and nausea, which is prevalent in the first trimester of pregnancy, can contribute to this development.
Apart from this, a study showed that women are also positively associated with cases of cavities during pregnancy. In the same report, one in every four pregnant women has untreated cavities. This accumulation of bacteria in the mouth can be linked to a person’s eating habits, which could have been bad from the start but may have also fluctuated to something less healthy due to cravings or other issues.
Finally, if the person carrying a child does little to nothing to maintain their dental health, said child can inherit these subsequent oral conditions.
Key Points in Dental Health Enhancement
Restrict Your Sugar Intake
Eating foods that have sugar raises the chance of having tooth decay. As soon as the sugar molecules enter your mouth, it mixes with the bacteria already present there and in the saliva, which causes the formation of plaque on teeth. If left unattended, the plaque will break down the enamel, paving the way for cavities to form.
Wondering how to protect teeth during pregnancy? Use xylitol. This five-carbon polyol substance is found to help in reducing the possibility of cavity growth. It’s a non-nutritive sweetener. You can use it by swishing it inside your mouth or by chewing.
Use a Soft-Bristled Toothbrush
Clean your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Don’t go overboard, as the gums are more sensitive during pregnancy. You can also partner this with flossing once a day.
Say No to Carbonated Drinks
To reiterate: avoid sugary beverages wherever you can. Instead, hydrate yourself with low-fat milk or water. This is a vital part of teeth care during pregnancy, especially if you think about supplementing your calcium intake as well.
Use Toothpaste with Fluoride
Fluoride aids in preventing tooth decay and loss. Your teeth can absorb fluoride from external sources like toothpaste. It works by combining with your saliva. It also mixes with the calcium and phosphate present in the enamel, creating the most potent defense system for your teeth and making it one of the significant ways to avoid cavities during pregnancy.
Be Mindful of What You’re Eating
Go for nutritious foods like raw fruits, cheese, and vegetables. These contain less sugar and are highly recommended during pregnancy. For a more definitive guide during your pregnancy, speak with your physician about your concerns and develop a diet plan.
Clean your Mouth After Vomiting
Wash out the bacteria left in your mouth after morning sickness with a mixture of water and baking soda. It’s supposed to remove the bacteria without hurting your teeth. Better if you’d wait for an hour after vomiting before rinsing.
Practicing the above-listed dental care exercises can help prevent having or worsening any existing oral disease, but it doesn’t stop there. Besides knowing how to protect teeth during pregnancy, it’s also advisable to get some professional advice.
Visiting a Dentist While Pregnant
Here are a few of the things you should bear in mind when going to a dentist:
- Enlighten your dentist with your pregnancy conditions: the progress, medication you’re taking, infections, and anything else that might be relevant.
- Dental care during pregnancy is essential, but so is your overall condition. You can delay treatments after the first trimester.
- During x-rays, protect your body and your baby with a lead apron.
Caring for your teeth during pregnancy just like you care for everything else is just common sense; it’s good for you and your baby. Visit us at Sunrise Dentistry! We offer holistic dentistry in Durango, CO.