Pregnancy, Breastfeeding and Your Oral Hygiene
Pregnancy is a time of change in a number of ways. But there is one thing that shouldn’t change and that’s your dedication to maintaining your oral health. As an expectant mother, it’s important that you do everything you can to improve and maintain your overall health and wellbeing. And your mouth and teeth are a big part of that. Neglecting your oral health during this time can lead to problems during your pregnancy, and even affect the health of your child after they’re born. To avoid this, we’ve created this guide to your dental health during pregnancy and while you’re breastfeeding.
Pregnancy, Morning Sickness, and your Teeth
Going to the dentist during pregnancy is completely safe and absolutely essential because changes to your body can lead to serious dental issues. Morning sickness is a particular concern, as vomiting can erode the teeth and lead to cavities or gum disease. To avoid this, you need to take care of your gums and teeth after vomiting and speak to your friendly dentist if you have any concerns. To minimise the damage done by vomiting, follow these steps:
- Rinse your mouth as soon as you’re done. You can use water or mouthwash for this.
- Do not brush your teeth for at least half an hour. Stomach acids can soften the enamel, so brushing will actually do damage.
- Chew sugar free gum to both freshen your breath and stimulate saliva.
- Put a small amount of toothpaste on your finger and smear it over your teeth. Rinse and spit afterwards to clear away any excess.
Gum Disease in Pregnancy
Changes in hormone levels during pregnancy can result in gum diseases, which can affect your health as well as the health of your unborn child. Gum disease during pregnancy has been known to cause premature births, as well as low birth weights. The bacteria from your infection may even transfer to your baby, which can cause long term problems for their oral health. That’s why it’s vital that you visit your dentist during your pregnancy to check for any potential problems. You should also keep an eye out for any signs of infection, and see your dentist immediately if you notice any problems. The signs of gum infection are:
- Bleeding during or after brushing
- Redness or swelling of the gums
- Bad breath
- Tenderness or pain
Breastfeeding and your Oral Health
The months after birth can be the busiest time for new mothers, but it’s important that you maintain your oral health at the same time. With all the demands of being a new mother, caring for your own oral health can fall by the wayside. This can lead to long term problems which can affect your overall health, wellbeing, and mood. It can also cause infections that can easily be passed on to your children. To be the best mother you can be, you need to take care of yourself first, or you’ll be in no condition to care for your family. To help you do that both after the birth and while breastfeeding, follow these essential steps:
- Make sure you keep up with your dental appointments. This includes before, during and after pregnancy.
- Work with your dentist to treat any problems that threaten your oral health as soon as possible.
- Increase your water intake to stay hydrated while breastfeeding.
- Inadequate calcium intake while breastfeeding may cause a loss in bone density, which can cause problems for your teeth. To avoid this, talk to your doctor about calcium supplements.
- Maintain a good oral health routine at home that includes brushing and flossing at least twice a day.
Paramount Dental Sydney Says
For all of your oral health care before, during and after pregnancy, contact one of our caring staff at Paramount Dental Sydney. We’ll help you and your growing family achieve the best oral health possible.