At Iris Dental we understand that pregnancy can be a time of change and excitement. Taking care of your oral hygiene during pregnancy is especially important. We at Iris Dental are here to ensure your mouth stays as healthy as ever.
How is your oral health affected during pregnancy?
Each woman’s pregnancy experience is unique and for some women, pregnancy can lead to dental difficulties such as an increased danger of tooth decay and gum disease. During pregnancy, your fluctuating hormones may disrupt your body’s reaction to plaque.
Over time and with careful observation you may notice this change. If you find that you are one of the women who are prone to this reaction, make sure you visit your dentist to seek assistance so that your teeth remain healthy throughout the pregnancy.
Many studies have shown that gum disease in a pregnant woman can affect a developing baby. Estimates suggest that up to 18 out of every 100 premature births may be triggered by periodontal disease. Appropriate dental treatment for the expectant mother may reduce the risk of premature birth.
But, pregnancy will not definitely damage your teeth. If a pregnant woman’s consumption of calcium is inadequate, her bones and not her teeth will deliver the calcium her growing baby needs. After breastfeeding is stopped, calcium loss is quickly replenished.
What causes this change in tooth and gum health?
Cravings and morning sickness can cause a change in your gum health but primarily, it is the hormones that are associated with pregnancy that may cause a change in your gum health. It’s the increase in your hormone levels that worsen your response to plaque.
To clarify, it will not increase plaque but just rather worsen your reaction to it. Make sure you switch to a softer toothbrush and brush your teeth regularly if you are prone to these problems. Try use toothpaste that contains fluoride, to help strengthen your teeth against decay.
What can worsen the risk of tooth decay during your pregnancy?
Morning sickness or frequent vomiting may worsen the condition as the acid in your mouth encourages tooth decay. It is suggested that you try avoiding brushing your teeth directly after vomiting as the actions of the toothbrush may damage the enamel. Simply rinse your mouth thoroughly with water first and then use a mouthwash.
You may experience cravings for sugary foods when you are pregnant, which can worsen the situation. If nothing but sweetness will satisfy your craving for sugar, try to sometimes choose healthier options such as fresh fruits. Rinse your mouth with water or an alcohol-free mouth rinse, or brush your teeth after having sugary snacks. Many pregnant women may also struggle to brush their teeth due to retching. If this is the case, try to use a brush with a smaller head and take your time when brushing your teeth.
What can you do to ensure your teeth stay healthy throughout your pregnancy?
Increase your day-to-day amount of calcium during pregnancy to meet the needs of your developing baby as well as protect your bone mass. Include products such as milk and unsweetened yoghurt into your regime as they are decent sources of calcium. Alongside this, make sure that any difficulties you experience with your teeth are checked by your dentist at Iris Dental. Good oral hygiene is also extremely important, including frequently brushing and flossing your teeth as well, as using mouthwash to make sure the enamel on your teeth stays healthy. Vitamin D will help the body utilise calcium, products like eggs and any type of fatty fish are excellent sources of Vitamin D. The dentist may put off taking x-rays until after the birth of your baby. If dental x-rays are unavoidable, the dentist can take precautions to ensure your baby’s safety. Should your dental condition require certain medications, talk to your dentist for advice.
To ensure your oral health stays on track and your teeth thrive as much as your pregnancy, come and visit Iris Dental in Point Cook. To book an appointment with our trusted dental professionals give us a call on (03) 9394 7877.