In the midst of pregnancy, it is vital to take care of your oral health by paying more attention to your teeth and gums. Brush your teeth twice a day, floss daily, eat a healthy diet, and be sure to visit your dentist on a regular basis. Your dental health is vital for the safety of your unborn baby. After reading these quick tips, if you should have questions about your oral health and your pregnancy, contact Oceanview Dental's Brooklyn office today to speak with a dental associate.
According to the American Dental Association, dental treatment including preventive, diagnostic, and restorative care is allowed during pregnancy and local anesthetics with epinephrine are also safe to use.
It is also important to be aware of the type of oral health conditions that are more common among pregnant women. These conditions include:
Gingivitis is more common due to hormonal changes that respond more strongly to bacteria in the gums. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that 60% to 75% of pregnant women have gingivitis. Dental cavities can be more common because of the greater snacking and cravings as well as the greater acidity in the mouth due to vomiting. Erosion is also more common due to vomiting. One suggestion for pregnant women is to avoid brushing your teeth right after throwing up. Instead, women should rinse their mouth with one cup of water mixed with one teaspoon of baking soda.
Daily oral care needs to be well taken care of due to the greater risk of gingivitis and caries. When planning to keep your teeth healthy, it's vital to brush twice daily for two full minutes with a soft-bristled brush. During a checkup, your dentist should also teach you how to properly floss your teeth. Use fluoride-containing toothpaste to reduce the risk of erosion.
In addition, pregnant women should be aware of periodontitis and its potential risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes. One report of 23 systematic studies completed through 2016 found a link between periodontitis and early labor, low birthweight babies, and the potential risk of pre-eclampsia. As such, it is vital to work with your dentist to reduce your risk of periodontitis when pregnant.
Some other tips that women planning for greater safety during pregnancy should follow include limiting sweet and starchy foods to keep their teeth well taken care of. Sweet foods or starchy foods can add too much acid to your teeth and mouth.
Be sure to eat more fruits and vegetables so that you're less likely to have cavities. In addition, eat foods high in calcium. This will keep your baby's teeth and bones healthy. So eat some dairy such as milk and yogurt as well as dried beans and leafy greens to ensure you're getting plenty of calcium.
If your mouth is dry during pregnancy, be sure to drink plenty of water to remain hydrated. Some women try sucking on ice chips to relieve their nausea as well.
Essentially, it is vital for pregnant women to see their dentist during their regular checkups. Be sure to tell your dentist that you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant as well as any medicines you take, according to the March of Dimes. Additionally, make sure your dentist knows if your pregnancy is high-risk. Dental checkups need to be completed before and during pregnancy in order to take care of any potential problems and prevent future oral health issues from worsening.
We hope these oral care tips will keep you and your baby healthy and safe during the next nine months.