Being pregnant is such an awesome experience.
You are creating life! I know sometimes you may not feel like it is exciting between morning sickness and getting kicked between your ribs.
During this time your body is going through so many changes to nurture this baby before and after the baby is delivered.
Your focus also changes, understandably, to this new baby growing inside of you. But don’t forget to take care of yourself. Especially what is going on inside of your mouth.
Did you know that dental issues can cause serious problems with your pregnancy and delivery like low birth weight?
Now that I have your attention, let’s talk about maintaining your dental work during your pregnancy.
I want you to know what you can do to maintain your dental health so that you can have a great dental cleaning while you are pregnant.
Why Is it Important to Go to the Dentist While Pregnant?
Just like going to see your OB GYN for regular visits, you still want to maintain seeing your dentist regularly for your check ups and cleanings.
One of the biggest problems during pregnancy is something called pregnancy gingivitis.
Gingivitis, simply put, is inflammation of your gums. Some of the signs of gingivitis are bleeding gums during brushing and flossing your teeth or red puffy gums.
Every day you form plaque, the white or clear film that forms on your teeth. Gingivitis happens as a result of plaque that sits on the teeth near the gum line and irritates your gums.
Most times, poor oral hygiene is the reason for gingivitis.
During pregnancy there is an increase of blood flow as well as an increase of hormones that make it more likely to develop pregnancy gingivitis.
The good news is gingivitis is reversible with a professional cleaning from your dentist or dental hygienist and good oral hygiene at home.
The bad news is gingivitis can lead to gum disease.
What is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is an infection in the gums that leads to the destruction of the jaw bone that supports your teeth. Over time as the bone is destroyed, teeth become loose and lead to tooth loss.
Trust me. You look so much better with your teeth than without them.
Gum disease has been linked to several diseases including diabetes, heart disease and low birth weight in pregnant women.
So how do you prevent gingivitis and gum disease? I am glad that you asked.
5 Tips to Have a Great Dental Cleaning While Pregnant
When you’re pregnant do not put off your dentist appointment. Your dentist still wants to care for you during your pregnancy.
Be sure to let the office staff know that you are pregnant at the beginning of the appointment and bring a copy of a clearance form or letter from your OBGYN.
This form will tell the dentist if they can take x rays, what prescriptions and anesthetics are acceptable if needed.
1. Don’t Slack On Oral Hygiene
You also want to make sure to keep up with your oral hygiene routine. This includes brushing twice a day and flossing once a day.
This will help with keeping your gums as healthy as possible and prevent cavities.
Pregnant women tend to be more prone to cavities due to the change in their appetite and frequency of eating.
If you look at the plaque on your teeth under a microscope, you would see tons of bacteria. It is almost like the bacteria have houses within the plaque.
The bacteria love to feed off of the crackers and candy you like to eat throughout the day. As a result, they product acid and toxins that destroy your teeth and causes cavities.
Here are some easy ways to prevent cavities and gingivitis. As well as, help ensure that you have a great dentist visit while you’re pregnant.
2. Watch Your Snacks
Watch the foods that your are snacking on. You want to incorporate more foods that are higher in protein versus carbs if you notice you are snacking more frequently.
The carbs are what the bacteria like.
Don’t feed them what they want and you reduce the chances of a cavities. For more ideas of foods to eat check out this list.
3. Chew Gum
If you do find yourself snacking all of the time, chewing gum with xylitol will help reduce the chances of cavities forming. Xylitol is a sugar that inhibits the bacteria that causes cavities.
Chewing gum helps stimulate your saliva which helps to wash away food and neutralize your mouth. This type of environment is not what those cavity causing bacteria like.
Trident and Icebreakers are two popular gums with xylitol that actually taste good too.
4. Floss Daily or Find an Alternative
I am sure that you have heard it before … brush and floss daily. But what if you struggle to floss on a regular basis because you just doing like it?
There are a few alternatives.
The Waterflosser by Waterpik and Airflosser by Sonicare are top of the line products to help remove plaque and food between your teeth using technology and water.
Also you can try dental picks and proxybrushes.
Try This for Vomiting Due to Morning Sickness
A common problem during pregnancy is morning sickness and vomiting.
Excessive vomiting due to morning sickness can lead to erosion of your enamel. Enamel is not like hair. It doesn’t grow back.
If you find yourself vomiting excessively rinse your mouth with water to help neutralize your mouth.
You can even rinse with a little baking soda in the water that will help bring your mouth out of the acidic state that is prime for erosion and cavities to form.
Because your enamel is in a soften state, you don’t to want to brush your teeth immediately after vomiting.
While you are pregnant you can continue seeing your dentist regularly for check ups and cleanings. In between visits be sure to brush and floss daily.
If you find yourself snacking more than usual, try to adding snacks that are high in protein. In between meals chew gum with xylitol.
If you are vomiting frequently rinse your mouth with water. Avoid the urge to brush your teeth immediately after.
With these tips you will continue to keep yourself and baby healthy.