When you find out that you’re having a baby, it’s normal to start reading up about your diet and steps you can take to boost your health and protect your baby during your pregnancy, but what about your oral health? Here are some tips to keep your smile looking gorgeous and healthy during your pregnancy:
Focus on oral hygiene
Oral hygiene is really important for everyone, but research has shown that it is particularly important for pregnant women. Researchers have found that bacteria in the mouth can be harmful, as they travel to other parts of the body via the bloodstream, triggering inflammatory problems, which may cause premature labour. A study, which was published in The Journal of the American Dental Association, revealed that pregnant women who have gum disease are between 4 and 7 times more likely to give birth prematurely than mothers with healthy gums. Of the study participants, mothers with the most severe periodontal disease gave birth the earliest at around 32 weeks.
When you are pregnant, the hormones in your body increase your risk of gum disease because they make your gums more sensitive to plaque, a sticky film, which is made from saliva, bacteria and food particles. The increased levels of progesterone increase your risk of swollen and sore gums and this is why it is so important for pregnant women to have regular dental checks.
A good daily oral hygiene routine is recommended for everyone, but brushing twice a day is especially important for expectant mothers. As well as keeping gum disease and cavities at bay, brushing will also keep your smile looking radiant and bright.
Curb your cravings
Some pregnant women never experience cravings, but if you crave sweet foods this can be really problematic for your oral health. Sweet foods contain a lot of sugar and eating sugary foods causes bacteria in your mouth to release plaque acids which wear down the tooth enamel, the protective surface of the tooth.
Also Read: Why Do Pregnancy Cravings Happen ?
If you do have sweet cravings, try to restrict your eating to mealtimes; when you eat, your enamel becomes weakened temporarily, so if you snack constantly throughout the day, this means that your teeth are always under attack.
See your dentist
It’s really important to see your dentist regularly when you are pregnant; this is because you have a higher risk of dental health problems. Your dentist can check for any problems and early warning signs and address them as early as possible. Check-ups only take a few minutes and they are painless, but they could turn out to be really important.
If you do notice symptoms of gum disease, such as bleeding gums, sore, tender, red or swollen gums, see your dentist as soon as possible. Mild gum disease is easily treated with good oral hygiene, but if is left untreated, it gets worse and severe gum disease, known as periodontal disease, is very difficult to treat.