Importance of Dental Care During Pregnancy: Tips and Advice
Are you welcoming a tiny new life in this world, sometime this year? Then, this might just be the right time to book an appointment with your dentist!
During pregnancy, women get more prone to gum disease and cavities. They are more likely to develop gingivitis (a disease where the gums become red and swollen from inflammation due to changing hormones).
Did you also know, untreated high levels of cavities in pregnant women are three times more likely to be passed on to the unborn child.
But don’t worry, we have everything you need to know about dental care during pregnancy.
Reasons why you might be experiencing dental problems during pregnancy:
- An increase in appetite for a diet rich in carbohydrates after which women tend to forget to brush their teeth.
- Pregnant women are susceptible to bleeding easily, hence may skip brushing entirely. As a result, there is an increase in bacterial plaque.
- Due to the increase in the frequency of throwing up, to-be-mothers tend to sidetrack their oral health.
- During pregnancy formation of saliva decreases, which can in turn cause tooth decay due to dry mouth.
If you are experiencing symptoms of unhealthy gums, then it’s time to book a dentist appointment. But here are some do’s and don’ts before you do that:
- Add the dentist appointment to your preconception to-do checklist, this way your teeth and gums can be treated for any oral health problems before pregnancy. If you fancy, you could get your teeth all shiny with a professional clean-up or just head in for your gums to be examined. It can also help in planning any x-rays for treatments, as dental x-rays may not be possible during pregnancy. Don’t forget to mention other medicines that you might be taking as they may hamper the treatment that the dentist would recommend.
- Unless it’s a dental emergency, try to postpone your dental appointments after the first trimester as this is the time when most of your child’s organs are developing. If you do have a dentist appointment, mention that you are pregnant, and only get a regular checkup and routine cleaning.
- If you have postponed your dental appointment after the first two trimesters, the third trimester is the time to book your appointment as this is the time when your doctor will be able to advise the best course of action for your oral health hygiene.
While a dentist appointment is a must, you also have to take a good care of your gums at home with healthy oral habits:
- Thoroughly brush your teeth and gums twice a day using toothpaste like Himalaya Ayurveda Gum Care with ingredients like Miswak which fights plaque build-up, Triphala which relieves tooth decay, and Vidanga which relieves dental caries.
- Some pregnant women feel the need to throw up while they are brushing. If that’s you, try using a soft bristle toothbrush and concentrate on your breath as you clean the teeth towards the back.
- Limit the consumption of sugar, as it changes to acid and can form plaque on the teeth. Try drinking low-fat milk or water as these contain little or no sugar.
- Flossing daily is a must for healthy and strong gums
Nutritional guide to keep your gums protected:
The baby’s tooth development during pregnancy starts in the 5th and 6th weeks. When you already have a lot on your plate, and this is why we are here with a couple of tips that will help you in keeping your gums and teeth healthy and strong.
Take 1200- 1500 mg of calcium for yourself and the baby. It is important to meet the daily calcium requirements by taking calcium-rich foods, dairy products, and leafy vegetables. The purpose of nutrients that are taken during pregnancy is to balance the body’s nutritional requirements and to provide the necessary energy and nutrients for the normal growth of the fetus. Research also shows that Calcium and Magnesium helps in the molar teeth increase during pregnancy.
In conclusion, pregnancy-related hormonal changes can raise the risk of cavities and gum disease, making dental care crucial. It is advised to postpone regular dental appointments during the first two trimesters and plan them for before or during the third trimester of pregnancy. Maintaining good oral health can be achieved by practicing healthy oral habits such as brushing twice a day, daily flossing, and limiting sugar intake. Additionally, consuming calcium-rich foods and supplements can benefit the oral health of both the mother and the child.