Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Dental Care During Pregnancy

Most women are keenly aware of the number of physical changes their bodies experience during pregnancy. However, one that many do not consider is how carrying a child for nine months can impact their dental health.

Although they may be ready to face the prospect of morning sickness, mood swings and an increase in appetite, learning that their oral health is also affected often comes as a surprise.

Morning Sickness and Dental Health

Morning sickness can result in an increase of acid levels in the mouth, which can cause tooth decay. Dentists encourage those experiencing nausea, which leads to vomiting, to always rinse their mouths with water, before brushing.

Failing to rinse and brush after bouts of morning sickness can cause dental erosion. It is also recommended that pregnant women should rinse their mouth with a teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in a cup of water, which will help neutralize the acid.

As levels of certain hormones fluctuate during pregnancy, women are also more at risk for developing gingivitis. In fact, it has been reported that this oral disease occurs in 30 to 100 percent of pregnancies. Hormonal activity among pregnant women can lead to a buildup of plaque, which leads to inflammation and the condition known as gingivitis. When untreated, it can result in a serious gum disease known as periodontis.

Continuing Dental Visits While Pregnant

Unfortunately, a vast majority of pregnant women fail to see their dentists during those nine months prior to childbirth. It may be due to the fact that they have so many other details to take care of, such as Lamaze classes, breast-feeding classes, getting the home ready for baby, plus more OBGYN visits to worry about.

Others incorrectly assume that having dental checkups or oral x-rays can somehow be dangerous for the unborn baby. In fact, just the opposite is true! Maintaining optimal dental health has a direct positive effect on the developing fetus.

As the baby grows within the womb, future moms should be aware that all of their vital systems are developing, including their teeth. That is why maintaining a healthy diet is so important. An increase in appetite is another common occurrence among expectant mothers.

Having healthy options for meals and snacking such as fresh fruits, veggies, low-fat/low-sugar dairy and nutrient-rich nuts are a sure-fire way to maintain and boost both mom and baby's overall well-being. 

As the delivery date looms large, moms-to-be should take the time to plan ahead for baby's first visit to the dentist, which should take place by the time the child turns one. They should also be aware that they will soon have less time for themselves and amp up their own arsenal of dental care products, including floss, a new toothbrush and a fluoridated mouth rinse.

It's never a bad idea to have a spare set of each to pack into the diaper bag for all of those upcoming outings with the new baby!

No comments:

Post a Comment