You may not realize but pregnancy and oral health go hand-in-hand. This month our brushes were placed in 1000 Bump Boxes for first trimester moms, and it got us thinking about how so often the importance of dental health during pregnancy is not known. There is so much excitement when you’re expecting, you know to go to regular prenatal checkups, but did you know your dental health is linked to your baby? Today we are going to walk all our expecting moms out there through pregnancy and oral health. We’ll cover common dental problems, the importance of regular checkups, and oral health best practices for expecting moms below!
Seeing Your Dentist Is Important During Your Pregnancy
Don’t skip your dental checkups during pregnancy. There are links between your dental health and your baby’s health. Research has found connections between dental issues such as gum disease and premature births. Because of this, it’s even more important to keep your dental health in-line during pregnancy so you can catch any issues quickly.
Common Dental Problems When Pregnant
Gingivitis is Common
According to the CDC, up to 75% of pregnant women have gingivitis. It is believed this is largely due to hormonal changes that lead to swelling in the gums. It’s important to look for the symptoms of gingivitis - if left untreated it can potentially harm your developing baby, leading to premature birth or low birth weight. If you are experiencing symptoms of gingivitis such as swelling and bleeding gums, talk to your care provider immediately.
Cavities or tooth decay are tiny holes and damage to the surface of your teeth. They are an extremely common health problem and pregnant women are more susceptible to them. Being pregnant with cavities carries additional risks. You can actually pass the bacteria on to your baby which can cause issues with your baby’s teeth later on. It’s important to go to your routine dental exams to find any cavities early and prevent problems.
Morning sickness can lead to tooth erosion when your teeth are exposed to too much stomach acid. This acid can be destructive to your tooth enamel. If you experience morning sickness rinse with water and a small amount of baking soda after vomiting to avoid permanent acidic damage to your enamel.
Pregnancy and Oral Health Best Practices
Visit your dentist regularly, it is safe to go to the dentist. Be sure to tell your dentist you are pregnant so they can determine the best treatment for you.
Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Doctor Plotka's Antimicrobial Toothbrush with Flossing Bristles is a great option for expecting women, it has dual-layered flossing bristles that are 10x thinner than leading brands. They can reach places other brushes miss and deep into grooves where 95% of cavities form.
If you experience morning sickness rinse your teeth with water and a small amount of baking soda to neutralize acid and protect your enamel.
Eat a variety of healthy foods and limit sugary snacks and drinks
Now that you are armed with information on pregnancy and oral health you know what to expect while you’re expecting (at least in the dental department!). Always remember dental health is important to your overall health, so take care of your teeth for yourself and your baby!
Written by Mouthwatchers, LLC Staff - July 2021