If you’re pregnant or thinking about expanding your family, your oral health and hygiene might not be too high up your list of priorities and health concerns.
However, growing evidence and research suggests that the link between good oral health and a healthy pregnancy may be stronger than you think.
Maintaining Good Oral Health Is Harder During Pregnancy
Even a textbook, perfect pregnancy, will naturally put a major strain on your body.
The changes and adaptations your body goes through in order to bring a new life into the world can leave you exhausted. When standing and moving become draining, it’s only natural for your daily oral hygiene routine to take a bit of a back seat.
However, this period of major change for your body can also take its toll on your oral health, and it is important to take care of your teeth and gums too.
According to an article from Health Link BC the changes in your body’s hormones throughout your pregnancy can have an effect on your gums.
In some cases, this can lead to cases of gingivitis, which is the first step in the development of gum disease.
In addition to that, research has also shown that poor dental health can have a detrimental effect on your baby’s development. According to Health Link BC, there is a “link between poor oral health and having a pre-term or low-birth weight baby. These babies are at greater risk of having developmental problems, asthma, ear infections, and may have a higher risk of infant death.”
Maintaining Oral Health During Pregnancy
Maintaining great oral health during your pregnancy is important for both yourself and your baby.
Making healthy eating choices and sticking to a regular schedule of tooth brushing, flossing, and rinsing is the key to staying on top of your dental health.
What To Do If You Suffer From Morning Sickness
For those of us who are unfortunate enough to suffer with morning sickness in the early stages of pregnancy, regular brushing and rinsing becomes even more important.
Vomit contains stomach acid that can sometimes (particularly on an emptier stomach) be strong enough to cause damage to your teeth if left on the surface.
To prevent that acid from damaging the outer surface of your teeth, it’s recommended that you rinse well with mouthwash to neutralise the pH and then thoroughly brush your teeth immediately afterwards.
Dental x-rays and Medications During Pregnancy
Standard precautions taken at your dentist’s office can help to ensure that dental x-rays remain completely harmless to both you and your baby.
If you are visiting your dentist for x-rays and think that you may be pregnant, it’s important to let your dentist know so that the appropriate steps can be taken to administer the x-ray in the safest possible way. Lead aprons will be used to prevent any unnecessary exposure to you and your baby.
If your dental treatment requires medications or anesthetic, again, it’s important to let your dentist know if you think you might be pregnant.
As with other, non dental medications and treatments, some medicines may not be recommended if you are pregnant, and your dentist may want to review your treatment plan with you in more detail.