Congratulations! You’re pregnant! What an exciting time of life!
While you’re busy preparing for baby, don’t forget to look after you dental health as well. While your body is going through changes, differences in hormonal levels can create certain oral health issues.
Acid from your stomach is not kind to tooth enamel, and neither is heartburn and acid reflux that may occur in late pregnancy. Following a round of morning sickness, it is best not to brush immediately. The tooth enamel is weakened as a result of the acid. The best thing you can do is create a rinse of baking soda and water, about 1 teaspoon of baking soda into 1 cup of water. Swish this around in your mouth and spit it out. This will help neutralize the acid before brushing.
Not only your belly swells when you’re pregnant, your gums can too. Hormonal changes can lead to a condition known as pregnancy gingivitis. Swelling of the gums can make it easier for food to build up between teeth and between teeth and gums, so brush twice a day with a soft-bristled brush and floss at least once a day. You want to remove the plaque buildups that cause red, swollen or tender gums.
Allowing excessive bacteria to build up in the mouth can cause bacteria to travel through the bloodstream to other parts of your body, including your uterus. Research has suggested a link between low-birth weight, pre-term babies and gingivitis (gum inflammation) and periodontis (gum disease), as well as premature labor.
Hormones can also develop something called pregnancy tumors which are little bumpy growths that appear between the teeth. They most often occur during the second trimester and are not malignant. They will most likely disappear after you deliver. If you are uncomfortable, your dentist can remove them.
Overall Dental Health
Don’t overlook regular dental cleanings and checkups while you’re pregnant. Teeth cleaning and x-rays are perfectly safe during pregnancy. However, if you are more comfortable, you can postpone x-rays and elective dental procedures until after the baby is born. Keep up your good nutrition and healthy eating habits too, while you’re expecting. Both you and your baby will benefit.
At EverSmile Dentistry, we look after our pregnant patients because we know they’re carrying the next generation of patients to come! Please continue your regular dental health checkups during pregnancy.
If you live in the Northern Virginia area and need to schedule an appointment, please contact our office today. We’re conveniently located in Sterling, VA.