Oral Health during Pregnancy
During pregnancy, it is easy to forget to take good care of your teeth and gums, especially if you are having food cravings, feeling extra tired and maybe even suffering from morning sickness as well.
If you're planning to become pregnant, please give us a call and let YOUR DENTAL CARE TEAM ensure your gums and teeth are in a healthy state. Good oral health means one less thing to worry about during your pregnancy.
It is usually safe to have routine dental treatment during pregnancy. We recommend having your check up and clean in your second trimester as most women are less affected by morning sickness by that time.
Morning Sickness - What can I do?
If you're experiencing morning sickness, doing the following may help protect the strong stomach acids from weakening your teeth:
Rinse your mouth with water to reduce the damaging effects of the stomach acids.
Don't brush your teeth immediately as the strong stomach acids will have softened the outer layers of your teeth, making them more prone to damage. Rinse with some water or wait at least an hour after vomiting before brushing
You can also use a non alcoholic mouthrise to rinse away the stomach acids or to apply a small amount of fluoride toothpaste on your teeth or some GC Tooth Moose (a calcium based cream) which will help replace the lost minerals in your teeth.
What about if I have a sensitive gag reflex when I brush?
You can try using a smaller head toothbrush and take your time brushing especially when you reach the back teeth (molars).
Some women have found using a different flavour toothpaste may help as well.
You can also try to work on your breathing technique and focus on breathing through your nose, taking slow controlled breathing as your brush your teeth.
Watch those sugary cravings! What should my diet be like during pregnancy?
It is very important to have a balanced diet and to watch those cravings for sugary sweet foods! As this may help cause tooth decay and also put you at risk of gestational diabetes.
Try fresh fruits and yoghurts if you are craving something sweet and to eat sugary cravings close to main meals. Also try to have more water and to brush soon after any sugary foods.
Why are my gums bleeding so much?
When you are pregnant, the changes in the level of hormones makes your gums more sensitive and they have an increased reaction to the bacteria and plaque around your gums, causing them to be more red, puffy and bleed. This is called gingivitis. A more meticulous brushing and flossing technique usually removes the bacteria and plaque which has caused the gums to be inflammed and bleed in the first place.
It is important not to ignore this, as gingivitis if left untreated may cause a more severe form of gum disease called periodontitis. This may lead to further damage of the underlying structure under the gums and cause bone loss and eventually tooth loss!
There is also evidence that there is a link between periodontitis and risk of premature birth and low birth weight babies.
For healthy teeth and gums:
Brush twice daily and floss daily.
If you are planning to become pregnant or are currently pregnant, book an appointment with YOUR DENTAL CARE TEAM to make sure your gums and teeth are in their best shape!
Have lots of water and try and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Eat lots of low sugar and healthy snacks and food throughout your pregnancy.