If you are pregnant, you are likely already getting your ﬁll of doctor’s appointments.
Make sure that you pencil in some time for a visit to your dentist though, as good dental care is an important part of your prenatal health.
In fact, when you are ready to start trying for a baby, it is a good idea to visit your dentist before you become pregnant. Identifying and treating any issues can be much easier when there isn’t a growing human to factor into a treatment plan!
Our mouths are constantly generating bacteria, which is what causes plaque to stick to our teeth. Like most women, between nausea or just a general increase in appetite, you probably find yourself wanting to snack more. Depending on what you are snacking on of course, a few additional nibbles throughout the day can be healthy and will probably decrease your nausea a little bit too.
Be sure that if you are snacking, you are increasing your brushing as well. It is important to brush 2-3 times daily. If you don’t have a quick way to sneak a brushing in mid-day, be sure that you are avoiding sweets, as sugars generate more acid, which leads to increased plaque and erosion.
Increased hormones during pregnancy also leave your mouth more vulnerable to bacteria. In addition to more frequent brushing, be sure that you are taking your prenatal vitamins and a calcium supplement if your doctor recommends it. Calcium helps keep your teeth and bones strong. Brushing your tongue during each session will also help reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth.
Some women experience pregnancy gingivitis, which causes red and swollen gums that may bleed during ﬂossing. If you notice that your gums seem to be extra sensitive, be sure to check in with your dentist so that they can prescribe the appropriate course of treatment if necessary.
Good oral hygiene always includes preventative dental care, so be sure that you are starting your pregnancy out right. The ADA offers some general guidelines, including this short one-pager on Oral Health During Pregnancy. (http://www.ada.org/sections/scienceAndResearch/pdfs/forthedentalpatient_may_2011.pdf)