Pregnancy and Oral Health
Smiles Need Protecting During Pregnancy
Getting ready to welcome a new member into your family is an exciting time. Between much-needed rests (sustaining a growing baby saps a lot of your energy!), you focus on all sorts of preparations. You'll decorate the nursery, attend check-up visits and sonogram appointments with your doctor, and some unfortunate soul will be tasked with the job of putting together the baby's crib.
In the flurry of anticipation, don't forget to take care of your teeth and gums. It's likely more important now than ever to keep brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist for preventive maintenance like professional cleanings and checkups. Studies suggest a link between gum disease and instances of premature births, as well as other pregnancy complications, so you want to keep a very close watch on your dental health during this most formative stage of your child's development.
Swollen, bleeding gums are a common complaint for pregnant women, and it stems from the higher progesterone levels in your body. The increase of this hormone means your gums are more prone to irritation from plaque, which can quickly cause gingivitis. So what can you do to help ensure a healthy mouth and body during pregnancy? Start by:
- Cleaning your teeth regularly, paying special attention to the gum line. This will drastically reduce the possibility for pregnancy gingivitis.
- Substituting more fresh fruits and vegetables, which are high in necessary vitamins and minerals, for processed, sugary sweets. It's better for your overall health, too – not just your teeth!
- Asking your dentist what they recommend when you schedule an appointment during your pregnancy. The best time is often during the second trimester.
Every mom wants to give their little one the best possible start in life. Luckily, a few preventive measures go a long way in maintaining your smile and your new baby's health, too. Talk to your general and family dentist about personalized treatment, and dedicate a few minutes each day to a thorough oral healthcare routine. It's a small investment that pays big dividends!