Protecting Your Teeth During Pregnancy
Pregnancy has a huge impact on your body, not least because you will look and feel different. But, what you might not realise, is that it can also affect your oral health. Hormonal changes can irritate your gums, morning sickness can damage your teeth, and sugary foods can increase the risk of decay. When it comes down to it, visiting your dentist in Woden and caring for your teeth during pregnancy is vital for your health and the health of your growing baby.
How Pregnancy Can Affect Your Teeth
While you might be more focused on the little person that is growing inside of you, your pregnancy can have some unexpected effects on your oral health:
- Hormones – you are probably well aware that hormones will change how you feel during pregnancy, but they can also make you more at risk of developing gum problems. You may experience swelling and bleeding when brushing. If left untreated, this can lead to periodontal disease and eventually tooth loss.
- Sickness – morning sickness is a common sign of pregnancy caused when those pesky hormones soften the muscles inside your stomach. Unfortunately, as well as making you feel lousy, repeated reflux and vomiting can damage the surface of your teeth and increase the risk of decay.
- Retching – if you are pregnant, you might find that when you brush your teeth, particularly the molars towards the back of your mouth, it provokes your gag reflex. Unfortunately, if you don’t brush your teeth properly, you risk tooth decay.
- Cravings – while you might crave healthy snacks during pregnancy, there is just as much if not more chance of you yearning for sugar. If you regularly eat sugary foods, you are going to increase your risk of tooth decay.
How to Look After Your Oral Health During Pregnancy
One of the most important things you can do to protect your teeth and combat pregnancy-related dental problems is to persevere with your oral hygiene routine. While that might seem difficult at times, there are plenty of things you can try to make it a little easier:
- Use a different toothbrush – using a small, soft-headed toothbrush can help prevent you from gagging when brushing your back teeth. Take your time and go slowly when you brush, and you may well find it easier.
- Distract yourself – if brushing makes you retch or feel sick, it may well pay to distract yourself. Close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing or, instead, try listening to music.
- Rinse often – instead of brushing your teeth directly after you’re sick, which can scratch the enamel, rinse thoroughly with water. You can then follow up with mouthwash, and after an hour you’ll be ok to brush. It’s also a great idea to rinse your mouth with water between meals.
- Use fluoride – if the taste of toothpaste disagrees with you, try a different brand. While you need fluoride, you can always brush with water and then use a fluoride mouthwash. Just remember to swap back as soon as you can.
- Eat healthily – you’ll need plenty of tap water, as the fluoride will help strengthen your teeth, and a wide variety of healthy foods. If you need something sweet, try to choose healthy sugars like fruits if you can. You’ll also need calcium-rich food to support your body and your baby’s teeth and bones.
How Your Dentist in Woden Can Help
While most dental treatment is safe during pregnancy, you should always let your dentist in Woden know if you are pregnant. That way, the health of you and your baby will always be the number one priority.
By visiting the dentist regularly before and during pregnancy, you can reduce the chance of gum disease leading to premature birth and low birth weight. Your dental health has a huge impact on your overall health, look after it and you’ll be looking after yourself and your baby.