Congratulations; you’re expecting! As you prepare your home for your little bundle of joy, we’re sure you have a million things on your mind – baby proofing, painting the nursery, crib shopping, reading pregnancy books and a whole other laundry list of things to do.
We know you have so much to think about during your pregnancy, and so much to do before that fast-approaching due date, but it’s important to make time to research dental health concerns during pregnancy. Being pregnant can lead to major changes in your mouth, changes that could affect the baby if left unattended.
Keep reading to learn how you can take good care of your teeth and gums while pregnant.
1) Avoid brushing your teeth after morning sickness
Morning sickness is a not-so-fun but completely normal side effect of pregnancy. We know how tempting it might be to brush your teeth immediately after getting sick, but resist the urge. If you brush your teeth too early, the stomach acids could eat away at your teeth enamel.
Wait at least an hour after to brush your teeth. If you can’t stand waiting another minute, try rinsing your mouth out with a non-acidic, alcohol-free mouthwash or plain old water. Trust us; it’s well worth waiting to have fresh breath when it comes to your dental health.
2) Turn flossing into a daily routine
Pregnancy can increase your risk of developing oral health issues like gum disease, also known as gingivitis. In fact, 40% of pregnant women will develop gingivitis sometime during their pregnancy – a condition called pregnancy gingivitis.
What can you do to prevent this? Regular flossing is always essential for good dental health, but it’s even more critical when you’re expecting. Flossing once a day removes germs and food particles from in between your teeth and keeps them from turning into plaque, a substance that can cause irritated gums and eventually gum disease. Turn flossing into a daily habit and keep plaque buildup under control.
If you think you’re suffering from gum disease, act sooner rather than later. When left untreated, gingivitis can turn into periodontitis, a more severe issue that can damage your gums and jawbone. If you’re experiencing any symptoms of gingivitis, such as tender or bleeding gums or pain when chewing, seek the help of a professional and schedule an appointment with your dentist.
3) Increase your daily amount of calcium
What you eat during your pregnancy not only affects your teeth, but the development of your baby’s teeth as well. That’s why it’s so important that you increase your daily intake of calcium while pregnant.
Sufficient calcium lowers your risk of osteoporosis, keeps your teeth healthy and helps your baby develop strong teeth and bones too. Good sources of calcium include milk, cheese, yogurt, spinach and almonds. If you’re struggling to get enough calcium in your diet, talk to your doctor about taking supplements.
4) Don’t put off dentist appointments
There’s no better way to keep your teeth and gums in excellent shape than visiting your family dentist. They can catch problems before they become serious and recommend the best treatment. And it’s completely safe to get regular dental check-ups when pregnant and urgent dental procedures if absolutely required.
If you’re experiencing any worrisome symptoms or gum irritation, or you want to gain the peace of mind that comes with regular checkups, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment at our office. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff would be happy to answer any of your questions and help keep your mouth healthy during your pregnancy. Call us today at 610-696-3371, and we’ll do our very best to fit you in the same day.