Pregnancy can be an exciting time for expanding families. With so many to-dos, it can be easy to overlook oral health. But did you know baby’s teeth begin to develop between the first and second trimester? This means maintaining routine dentist visits and good oral hygiene is more important than you may think for both you and your child’s mouth.
The hormone levels in your body change considerably during pregnancy and can often put you at an increased risk for developing oral health issues. In particular, pregnancy can lead to increased levels of progesterone which can cause women to develop gum disease, a condition referred to as pregnancy gingivitis. It’s vital for women who are pregnant to see a dentist for regular checkups in order to catch any potential problem before it becomes severe.
In addition to routine dentist visits, the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends the following tips for maintaining a healthy mouth during your pregnancy:
- Brush thoroughly with an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste twice a day.
- Incorporate flossing into your pregnancy routines, like down time for music therapy.
- Purchase products that have the ADA Seal of Acceptance.
- Eat a balanced diet. If you snack, do so in moderation.
- Rinse at night with an antimicrobial mouth rinse to help control plaque.
- If you have morning sickness and are vomiting frequently, try rinsing with a teaspoon of baking soda mixed with water. If possible, avoid brushing directly after when stomach acids repeatedly come into contact with teeth, the effects of erosion can eventually cause tooth enamel to wear away.
Remember to let your dentist know if you are pregnant or suspect you might be to determine the plan that best fits your needs. Good oral health during your pregnancy can help both you and your child maintain a healthy smile for life.