When you're pregnant or trying to become pregnant, you have so many aspects of health to worry about – taking your prenatal vitamins, attending your checkups, eating healthy, remembering to exercise. It's common for women to forget about dental care as an important part of their prenatal care program. Your oral health impacts your overall health and the health of your baby. Follow these tips to keep your mouth in tip-top shape throughout pregnancy.
Tip #1: Schedule a dental checkup when you first start trying to become pregnant.
If you're not yet pregnant but are going to start trying for a baby, now is the time to see the dentist. He or she can check for any early signs of tooth decay or loosening fillings, so you can avoid a dental emergency when you are pregnant. If you're already pregnant, it's not too late to see your dentist for that checkup. You're always better off catching a problem early than waiting until it becomes a major, painful issue later on.
Tip #2: Pay extra attention to your brushing and flossing habits during pregnancy.
Women are more prone to gingivitis when they are pregnant. Keep gum disease at bay by being extra particular about your oral hygiene. Brush for at least 2 minutes after every meal, and floss your teeth once, if not twice, per day. If you do notice that your gums are bleeding during brushing or flossing, this is a sign of mild gum disease. Talk to your dentist – he or she may recommend more frequent professional cleanings to keep the symptoms from getting worse.
Tip #3: Report any strange and abnormal cravings to your doctor.
It's common for women to have cravings during pregnancy. If your cravings are for normal foods such as burgers or apple pie, indulge away (within reason). However, if you have having cravings for non-food items, such as ice, paper, ashes, paint or detergent, force yourself to resist these cravings and tell your doctor about them immediately.
Eating these items can cause permanent damage to your tooth enamel, not to mention your baby's health. It may seem like a silly prospect, but thousands of women have these cravings and secretly indulge them as they await their baby's arrival. Don't become one of them.
Healthy teeth and gums enable you to eat the foods your baby needs for proper development. Don't let the other demands of pregnancy get in the way of proper dental care. Talk to your dentist like one from Claremont Dental Institute if you have any questions about how your specific, ongoing dental problems may impact your baby's health.