Pregnancy can cause you to be more susceptible to cavities and gum disease. If you are pregnant or are planning on becoming pregnant, it’s important to prioritize oral care. If you have poor oral health while you are pregnant, you are at a higher risk and your baby can also be at risk for having dental problems later. View good oral health as part of your prenatal care. Here are 10 tips from your Marietta dentist on how to protect your oral health during pregnancy and the oral health of your baby.
10 Tips for Oral Care During Pregnancy
1. Maintain Good Oral Hygiene Habits
The best ways to prevent harmful bacteria from entering your baby’s mouth is to avoid sharing of any eating utensils, limit mouth kissing, and wash or disinfect pacifiers prior to each use and especially if they have been contaminated, and lastly by establishing a routine of regular oral care morning and night. Even a young toddler should develop the routine of tooth-brushing twice a day and having an adult perform flossing at least once a day.
2. Morning Sickness
Most pregnant women suffer from morning sickness during the first trimester. Some experience the symptoms longer and some not at all. If you have morning sickness, always rinse your mouth out after you get sick to protect your teeth. Mix one teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water to make a rinse. This helps wash acid off your teeth and protects tooth enamel.*
*The effect of sodium bicarbonate oral rinse on salivary pH and oral microflora: A prospective cohort study
3.Brushing May Make You Gag
For many pregnant women, toothpaste makes them sick. Others gag at anything including putting a toothbrush in their mouths. Try to keep your regular brushing routine even if it gags you. You may have to try a few things to find what works for you. Try a toothbrush with a smaller head. Or try a different type or brand of toothpaste.
4. Schedule a Visit with Dr. Caceres
While you are pregnant, you may be more prone to both cavities and gum disease. Having either of these can affect your baby’s health as well. Seeing your Marietta dentist while you are pregnant is safe. Make sure to schedule a routine exam before you have the baby. The American Pregnancy Association suggests seeing the dentist during your second trimester.
5. Toothaches and Pregnancy
Fillings and crowns can be taken care of during the second trimester. After that, it will be difficult to lie back for any amount of time. If possible, most dental work should be postponed until after your baby is born. There are times when a tooth extraction or a root canal is necessary. Elective treatments and cosmetic procedures should wait until after you have had the baby.
6. Don’t Skip Routine Checkups
It’s important to keep any dental checkup appointments you have scheduled when you are pregnant. Dr. Caceres can examine your mouth to ensure there are no signs of gum disease. This is important since you are at greater risk when pregnant.
7. Eat a Healthy, Well-balanced Diet
Eating a well-balanced diet loaded with nutrient-rich foods is important for your forming baby. Consuming dairy products like cheese and yogurt is good for your teeth as well as your baby’s developing bones, gums, and teeth.
8. Avoid Eating Sweets
Hopefully, your pregnancy won’t be plagued with cravings for sweets. It is common for women to crave sweets while pregnant. Just keep in mind if you suffer from sweet cravings, that the more sweets you consume, the greater your chance becomes of developing tooth decay.
9. Drink Fluoridated Water
Drink plenty of water throughout the day. This is important especially between snacks and meals. Most communities provide fluoridated water but if you prefer bottled water, choose brands that contain fluoride.
10. Schedule a Post Baby Visit
If you experienced any problems with your gums while you were pregnant, schedule a visit with your Marietta dentist as soon after your pregnancy as you can. Because pregnancy puts you at a higher risk for gingivitis and gum disease, it’s good to have your gums evaluated soon after the baby is born.
Contact Your Marietta, GA Dentist
If you have any questions about pregnancy and your oral health, please call Dr. Caceres to schedule a visit. The goal is your dental health and that of your baby.