Whether you’ve been pregnant for some time or have just received the exciting news, your teeth and gums have likely already experienced a number of changes. Here’s a short list of dental care tips to help you handle the changes and protect you and your baby’s future dental health.
What pregnancy does to your teeth and gums
The hormones in your body drastically change during pregnancy, causing your gums and teeth to be more sensitive to plaque buildup. This is often why you may experience gum bleeding or sensitivity during pregnancy. Because of these hormone shifts, it is vital that you prioritize your dental health.
How to care for your teeth while pregnant
1. Brush twice, floss once
Brush your teeth for 2 minutes, twice a day. Be sure you are gentle as you brush, and use fluoride toothpaste to protect your gums and tooth enamel.
Floss once daily to remove plaque and bacteria from between your teeth, where a toothbrush can’t reach. Be sure to floss gently, and don’t be concerned if your gums bleed slightly. This is totally normal!
2. Eat a balanced diet
By staying away from sugar-rich foods and fueling up with healthy grains, veggies, fruits, and proteins, you will actively prevent plaque buildup in your mouth! Also, focus on taking your vitamins; this greatly impacts your child’s tooth-development (which begins in the womb).
3. Enjoy cravings in moderation
Is baby asking for ice-cream? Go for it! Just don’t allow your cravings to control you. Be wise with your portions, especially when it comes to sweet drinks and treats. Your mouth will thank you!
4. Be diligent (especially if you have severe morning sickness)
If you’ve been vomiting frequently due to morning sickness, you may need to brush more than twice a day to remove harmful acids and bacteria from your mouth. Rinsing your mouth with water immediately after you vomit is helpful, but adding brushing to that routine is even better! Keep a compact toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste in your purse to use when you’re out and about.
5. Wash it away
Especially if you’re struggling with excess plaque buildup, your dentist may suggest that you use a specific kind of antimicrobial mouthwash each night.
6. Snack and brush (even if it’s midnight)
Some doctors recommend that women eat a small midnight snack to keep their blood sugars balanced, but if this is a part of your daily routine, don’t forget to brush! Midnight snacking equals midnight brushing.
7. Visit your dentist
A professional dental cleaning is a fantastic way to pamper yourself during pregnancy! While you’re giving those pearly whites a shine, your dentist will be able to check for any abnormalities or potential risks. Visiting your dentist could mean preventing a number of dental diseases during pregnancy.