Archive for July, 2013

Oral Care for Expectant Mothers

As an expectant mother, oral care is even more important for you than ever before. You likely already know that what you eat and drink affects your baby’s health. But did you know that oral health problems, such as gum disease, can also affect your developing baby? Talk to a dentist about caring for your smile during your pregnancy. Your dentist can recommend a check-up schedule, evaluate your at-home care routine, and make dietary recommendations.

Schedule Dentist Visits

See your dentist regularly for check-ups and professional cleanings to minimize your risk of developing gum disease and other oral problems. The hormonal changes during pregnancy can actually increase your risk of gum disease. Make sure you update your medical history at each appointment. Tell your dentist which month of pregnancy you’re in, discuss any medications you’re taking, and mention whether you’ve noticed any oral abnormalities. If you observe any changes in your oral health between appointments, such as bleeding gums, call your dentist promptly.

Practice Good Oral Hygiene

Reduce your risk of gum disease and the need for extensive dental treatments by brushing and flossing your teeth regularly. Talk to your dentist about the proper techniques to use for best results. Morning sickness can affect your oral care routine. If you vomit frequently, it’s best to rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash. Wait about 20 minutes to brush your teeth after vomiting; stomach acids can make tooth enamel more vulnerable. If your toothpaste aggravates your morning sickness, switch to a brand with a bland flavor.

Eat a Tooth-Friendly Diet

During months three through six of your pregnancy, your baby begins to develop teeth. It’s particularly critical to eat a tooth-friendly diet to encourage healthy development in your child. Always follow your doctor’s advice. In general, however, you should try to eat a diet rich in calcium. Balance your meals with a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins, and low-fat dairy products.

If you have any questions about caring for your oral health during pregnancy, please contact the office of Dr. John Carson, DDS. You can reach our Tucson dentistry office at (520) 514-7203 to schedule an appointment. Or, visit our website to learn more about preventative dentistry.

Foods to Avoid for a Healthier Smile

There are many foods that have beneficial effects on your teeth, including those that are rich in calcium. Unfortunately, plenty of foods and beverages have detrimental effects on your oral health. During your next dentist visit, ask your dentist about simple ways to modify your diet to improve your smile. Your dentist will likely advise you to stay away from the following foods:

Certain Types of Beverages

If you have the habit of sipping soda throughout the day, it’s time to consider switching to water instead. Drinking soda continually exposes your teeth to sugars for a prolonged period of time. These sugars feed bacteria in your mouth, which in turn contributes to gum disease and tooth decay. Other sugary beverages include fruit juices and sports drinks. If you find it difficult to give up sugary beverages altogether, use a straw and drink the beverage all at once, rather than sipping it frequently. Sugary beverages aren’t the only ones to limit or avoid for better oral health. Your dentist will likely warn you against excessive alcohol consumption. Alcohol dries out your mouth, which increases your risk of gum disease. Alcohol also has a corrosive effect on the soft tissues in your mouth, and increases your risk of oral cancer.

Sticky Foods

Sticky candies, such as caramels, dried fruits, and other sticky foods readily adhere to your teeth. This means that the sugar in those foods is likely to stay on your teeth for a long time, feeding bacteria and contributing to enamel erosion and tooth decay. Instead of dried fruits, choose whole fruits to encourage saliva production, which washes away food particles. Additionally, dentists recommend brushing your teeth promptly after consuming any sticky foods.

Acidic Foods

Acidic foods, including citrus fruits and sodas, encourage tooth decay because they weaken the enamel. Consume citrus fruits with a meal or drink water right after eating them. Then, wait about 20 minutes before brushing your teeth to prevent wearing down the enamel.

Contact the Tucson dentistry office of Dr. John Carson, DDS for more information on caring for your smile. We offer preventative, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry services. You can reach us at (520) 514-7203 to schedule your next visit.