7 Tips for Oral Health During Pregnancy

7 Tips for Oral Health During Pregnancy

With these tips you can ensure you maintain good dental habits throughout your pregnancy.

Expecting moms go to great lengths to stay healthy— for themselves and their babies. But oral health can be easily overlooked and lead to complications for mother and child.

Many of your body systems change during pregnancy and these changes can affect your gums and teeth. Similarly, changes in your oral health, especially gum health, may affect your pregnancy. Here are a few tips to help with oral health during pregnancy and beyond.

Professional Dental Care 

Inform your dentist and dental hygienist when you become pregnant, so they can give you individualized advice relating to your oral health and risk of dental diseases and to ensure your comfort in the dental chair. Routine dental care including X-rays, pain medication, and local anesthesia are all safe treatments throughout pregnancy. Delaying necessary dental care may put you and your baby at risk. You should continue with your regularly scheduled dental visits as advised by your dentist.
 

Good Oral Health Care and Dental Hygiene

Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice a day and clean between your teeth daily with dental floss or interdental cleaners. Mouthrinses are safe to use (following the manufacturer’s instructions), and should be alcohol-free and contain fluoride. 
 

Ch- Ch- Ch- Changes

Your changing hormones may cause your gums to become swollen and inflamed. If your gums start to bleed when brushing, or you notice any puffiness schedule a visit to your dentist. But don’t stop brushing and flossing. 
 

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Morning Sickness

Resist the urge to brush your teeth immediately after morning sickness, since the acid that comes up during vomiting can soften the surface of your teeth and lead to tooth wear (also known as erosion). Instead, freshen your mouth by rinsing gently with a teaspoon of baking soda in a cup of water to neutralize the acid.
 

Satisfying the craving monster

Acidic fruits and sugary snacks will put you at risk of acid tooth wear and dental decay. Balance out with other treats. 
 

Post-Pregnancy

Caring for your new-born may lead to changes in your own routines, so try to maintain good oral hygiene and a healthy diet. Of course, keep up with regular dental visits. Any changes that occurred in your gum health during the pregnancy should resolve very soon after delivery. If you still have swollen or bleeding gums, arrange a dental visit.
 

Once your baby is born

Your baby should have her first dental visit no later than her first birthday, establishing a dental home that can provide individualized care and advice to parents and caregivers.
 

Follow the advice provided by your prenatal care team and remember to continue your routine dental care, have any dental pain investigated, and tell your dentist about your pregnancy.