Taking extra care of your mouth and teeth during pregnancy is very important. Did you know that pregnancy hormones can affect the health of your gums?
Plaque build-up, caused by bacteria left in the mouth, can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Be sure to floss each day and brush with fluoride toothpaste at least twice each day especially in the morning and before bed.
Eat healthy foods and limit between meal snacks to ensure ideal oral health during pregnancy. When you do snack, choose foods that are low in sugar and nutritious for you and your baby such as raw fruits and vegetables, yogurt, or cheese.
Some women may find that their gums become red, tender and sore during pregnancy. This is called gingivitis. You can help prevent or improve gingivitis by regularly brushing your teeth and gums.
If you experience morning sickness and vomiting, if possible, avoid brushing your teeth for 30 minutes after vomiting. This will help protect your tooth enamel. You can also try rinsing your mouth with plain water, or a teaspoon of baking soda mixed with water, or a fluoride mouth wash.
Regular dental cleanings and checkups are safe during pregnancy. Be sure to let your dental office know that you are pregnant when you make your appointment.
Any pain, swelling or infection in your mouth should be treated right away. Your dentist may have recommendations for treatment that would be different if you were not pregnant.
Dental x-rays and local anesthetics for dental treatment can be safely provided during pregnancy. If x-rays are required, the lead apron used at the dental office will shield you and your baby.