Pregnancy brings many changes in your body, including hormonal changes that could affect your smile. Although some women won’t experience dramatic changes to their oral cavity during pregnancy, others will see an increased risk of some common dental health concerns. Caring for your smile can protect you and your growing baby. Here are the top dental considerations for pregnant women and how you can protect your smile.
Gingivitis is the beginning stage of gum disease and can be brought on by an influx of hormones in pregnant women. Gingivitis causes gum swelling, which can mean your gums may feel tender and can even bleed during brushing. You should never let gum disease go untreated while pregnant, as research links gum disease with premature babies and low birth weight.
It’s safe to get cleanings and treatment for gum disease during your pregnancy. Your dentist may suggest that you come in for checkups and cleanings more often while you’re pregnant. You can protect both you and your child by looking for the signs of gum disease and getting checkups with your dentist!
More than half of all pregnant women will experience morning sickness at some point during their pregnancy. Vomiting causes harsh stomach acids to enter the mouth, therefore attacking tooth enamel and leading to an increased risk for cavities. Not exactly what you want to be worried about when you’re not feeling well!
Keeping up with your dental routine can help prevent enamel damage and protect your teeth from cavities. Never brush your teeth immediately after vomiting, however. It’s best to rinse your mouth with water and to wait approximately 30 minutes. This is because the acid can weaken the enamel, making it easier to remove during brushing.
Your dentist can examine your teeth for any damage from morning sickness and suggest the appropriate treatment to keep both you and your baby healthy.
Cravings for Sweets
Your cravings may vary during pregnancy; however, some women find themselves craving more sweets. Craving different types of food is normal, but don’t let your craving for sweets disrupt your oral health. Sugar can attack your tooth enamel and heighten your risk for cavities and even gum disease.
You can protect your smile by rinsing with water after eating any kind of sugar and being sure to keep up with your brushing and flossing. Do your best to eat a balanced diet during your pregnancy, and if you’re craving sweets, see if some fresh fruit will do the trick. It’s full of fiber, nutrients, and water, perfect for your teeth and gums!
Pregnancy can be an exciting yet challenging time, especially when it comes to your oral health. When you go for a checkup with your dentist, be sure to inform them of your pregnancy. Talk about what you can do to keep your smile healthy. Remember, your dentist may recommend that you come in more often to monitor any oral cavity changes to help you remain as a healthy as possible!