Did you know that when Mom brushes her teeth, she is brushing for two?
There is a lot to plan for when you’re a mom-in-the-making. During pregnancy, it’s no wonder women may get so preoccupied with making everything ideal for their new baby that they neglect their own health. But, when it comes to dental health, a mother who takes care of herself is also taking care of her unborn baby.
Factors contributing to poor teeth and gum health during pregnancy
It is usual for a pregnant woman’s teeth and gum health to deteriorate.
Skipping flossing, and brushing: Everyone is exhausted at the end of the day, but pregnancy adds a whole new level of tiredness. As a result, frequent nightly brushing, flossing, and regular dental check-ups may be neglected. This can result in plaque and bacteria buildup and tooth decay.
Hormonal changes: Hormonal changes during pregnancy might jeopardise mom’s gum health and result in pregnancy gingivitis (irritated, inflamed gums that bleed). Gingivitis, if left untreated, can progress to periodontitis, a more severe type of gum disease that includes bone loss. Gingivitis has also been linked to infants’ preterm delivery and low birth weight.
Morning sickness: Morning sickness can wreak havoc on your teeth. Stomach acid enters the mouth and can erode tooth enamel, placing expecting mothers at a higher risk for cavities.
Frequent snacking: Eating more often during pregnancy is typical, but frequent nibbling and grazing exposes teeth to acid in food. This increases the formation of acid-loving bacteria like Streptococcus mutans, which produces more acid to damage the enamel.
Chewy supplements: Pregnant women require a folic acid-containing prenatal vitamin to maintain their infants’ wellbeing during pregnancy. However, it’s best to avoid chewy or gummy vitamins when selecting a vitamin, especially if you are consuming them after brushing your teeth or before going to bed. They adhere to the teeth and most include sugar, which can cause tooth decay.
Good to know
- Expectant moms who brush their teeth properly can lower the chance of pregnancy problems and reduce the risk of future dental infections in their infants.
- Brush your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day, preferably after each meal.
- You should also floss every day.
- A good diet helps to maintain oral health. When pregnant, choose balanced meals rich in calcium and reduce excess sugar intake.
- More frequent dental cleanings will also help reduce plaque and avoid gingivitis.
- Also, remember to schedule frequent check-ups with your dentist.