When you’re pregnant, you know how important it is to take special care of your body. However, you should also know that pregnancy is a time to take extra special care of your teeth and gums. That’s because hormonal changes in your body during pregnancy can increase your chances of developing gum disease. So while you are pregnant, make sure you practice good hygiene which means brushing and flossing everyday. By combining this routine with a healthy, balanced diet and regular dental visits, you will not only help avoid dental problems of your own, you will also contribute to the healthy development of your baby.
- How does pregnancy affect my teeth and gums?
Pregnancy causes hormonal fluctuations that increase your risk for gum disease. The changing hormone levels in your body can make your gums more sensitive to harmful plaque – the colorless, sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on teeth. Furthermore, if you already have signs of gum disease, being pregnant may make it worse. This is why its vital to pay more careful attention to your daily brushing and flossing routine to keep plaque under control.
- Am I also at a greater risk for tooth decay?
Yes. Sugary food cravings and morning sickness may make you more vulnerable to developing cavities.
- How should you prepare your child for his Paediatric dental visit?
It is very important that you do not project dental treatment as a punishment. You can encourage the child about the benefits such as attractive teeth with no black spots (decay). Also, avoid saying “it will not hurt”, project your dentist as a person who will help keep his teeth healthy and white in a friendly environment.
- How can I avoid tooth decay and gum disease?
Simple: get into the habit of cleaning your teeth properly everyday and visiting your dentist regularly.Brushing thoroughly at least twice a day preferably in the morning and before bed. Use a soft bristled toothbrush or a good quality power toothbrush – look for modern designs that are safe and gentle to use. Many incorporate advanced technology that allows them to remove plaque more effectively than ordinary manual toothbrushes.
Take your time. You should spend at least two minutes brushing to remove the plaque that is constantly forming on your teeth.
Use toothpaste that contains fluoride. Fluoride is proven to help prevent cavities.
Clean between teeth daily. Use floss or other interdental cleaners to remove plaque from areas that your toothbrush can’t reach. Did you know, if you don’t floss, you’re leaving up to 40% of your tooth surfaces untouched and unclean?
- Should I tell my dentist that I’m pregnant?
As soon as you believe that you are pregnant, tell your dentist because it may not be safe to have x-rays or other treatments. Tell your dentist what medicines you are taking and if your physician has given you any specific medical advice, as it may affect the treatment given.
- What should I know about my diet?
Your body is the sole source of nourishment for your unborn child. Check with your physician as he or she is the best source for detailed information on what to eat while you are pregnant. In general, however, you should try to eat more foods that are rich in calcium – these are especially good for developing teeth and bones.