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.