Although it is always necessary to pay careful attention to dental hygiene, this is none more important during pregnancy. For prospective mothers, it is crucial to keep a healthy mouth and teeth as your body goes through many changes and this means seeking regular dental care.
During pregnancy, your gums are particularly sensitive. Due to the change in oestrogen and progesterone levels, your gums can be swollen, tender and prone to bleeding. This means that there is also an increased risk of gum disease, which can spread at a much more rapid rate when you are pregnant. Left untreated, gum treatment during pregnancy could affect both mother and baby, so regular pregnancy dental treatment is very important. It is common for pregnant mothers to seek dental care up to 3 times during the length of their pregnancy.
Whilst pregnant, it is even more important than ever to brush and floss your teeth. During pregnancy, it is common to have cravings of sugary snacks, and not unusual to eat more often than usual. It is beneficial for you to always keep a toothbrush and toothpaste easily accessible so that you can brush your teeth gently every time you eat. However, when suffering with morning sickness, it is important to avoid brushing your teeth immediately after being sick. Though acid from your stomach can cause tooth erosion, brushing can worsen this. It is advisable that mothers take a drink of water instead, and brush their teeth around about an hour after.
Contrary to some beliefs, dental care is safe whilst you are pregnant. However, procedures such as X-rays and antibiotics are avoided. White fillings are perfectly safe for pregnant mothers should they need them, however, silver fillings could cross to your baby. Although it is not believed that this would be harmful, caution is always taken during pregnancy.
It is also important to note that some old wives tales about pregnancy dental care are inaccurate. Many mothers believe that drinking large amounts of milk during pregnancy can help to harden a baby’s teeth, however, although the calcium intake is good for mothers, there is no link to this making any difference to an unborn baby’s teeth. Another myth that is not true is that dental treatments affect the taste and also quality of breast milk. However, there is no evidence for this.