Expectant Mothers- Brush Up On Your Oral Health

By: Gen Wright

Whether you are expecting your first or fourth child, pregnancy is a very special time for an expectant mother. As a mom-to-be it is important for you to pay special attention to your health - including proper oral hygiene. During pregnancy, anything that affects a mother's health can also impact the health of her baby. This is why it is imperative that you take the time to maintain good health and oral health.

During pregnancy, mothers-to-be are at a higher risk for dental problems, which can place you and your unborn baby at risk for both general and dental health complications. From the moment you find out you are pregnant, proper oral hygiene should take place in order to promote a healthy pregnancy and development of your baby.

What to do to Keep Your Mouth Healthy

When it comes to dental care, pregnant mothers and women contemplating pregnancy have unique considerations. Failure to adequately care for your oral health during this sensitive time could have serious consequences for you and your child. During pregnancy, your teeth and gums are more susceptible to bacterial accumulation due to an associated increase in hormone levels. Pregnancy is an important time in a woman's life.

It is important to visit your dentist at least one time during your pregnancy. Dental work is safe at any time during your pregnancy, but it may be more comfortable during your second trimester. A dentist can tell if you have any problems in your mouth and give you advice on how to keep your mouth healthy. Additionally, when snacking, choose healthy snacks. Limit sugary and starchy foods to mealtime only and fruit rather than fruit juice. Avoid soda, including diet soda, as this can lead to tooth decay.

Brush your teeth, especially along the gumline, at least two times a day for optimal care. When brushing, use a small, soft toothbrush and toothpaste with fluoride. In addition to brushing, floss your teeth at least once daily to clean between teeth and under your gums. If you experience frequent nausea or vomiting eat small amounts of healthy foods throughout the day such as fruits, vegetables, yogurt, or cheese.

How Pregnancy Affects Oral Health

Morning sickness can cause vomiting to occur, which allows stomach acid to weaken your tooth enamel and increases your risk for developing cavities. Morning sickness can also make it difficult to brush and floss which can also increase your risk for cavities, as well as gum disease. Hormonal changes during pregnancy lead to an increased risk of gingivitis, an infection in your gums caused by plaque. They can also cause your mouth to be drier caused by less production of saliva or spit, which can also increase your risk of cavities forming.

Expectant mothers, who practice good oral hygiene and consult their dentist in Little Compton regularly, are considerably less likely to experience problems throughout the term of their pregnancy. Oral health and general health are interrelated, as are the health of mother and child. Consult your dentist today for tips on maintaining good oral hygiene and protecting your child.

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Sean Hartmen writes for Dr. Michael Katz, an experienced dentist in Little Compton, RI. With over 30 years of experience in all areas of dentistry, this dentist in Tiverton, RI is highly qualified to meet the dental needs for patients of every age.

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