Pregnancy guide

ORAL HEALTH

Taking care of your teeth and gums is very important when you are pregnant. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can increase your risk of developing periodontal disease. Poor oral health may also affect the health of your developing baby. Pregnant women with periodontal disease may have a higher risk of delivering a pre-term or low birth weight baby.

Eating well is important for your oral health.

It can also help to build strong teeth and bones in your developing baby. During pregnancy, you need to eat the right kinds of food and in the right amounts, making sure to get enough calcium, vitamins A, C and D, as well as protein and phosphorous. Taking a multivitamin can help.

Regular dental check-ups are the best ways to detect and prevent periodontal disease.

Schedule a check-up in your first trimester to have your teeth cleaned and your oral health assessed. If you require dental work, the best time to schedule it is between the fourth and sixth month of your pregnancy. X-rays of your mouth should only be taken in an emergency.

Morning sickness can cause tooth decay.

Stomach acid left on the teeth can damage the surface of your teeth and promote tooth decay. If you vomit, rinse your mouth with water or with a fluoride mouthwash as soon as you can afterward.

Will it hurt my teeth if I eat between meals?

No. It’s good for pregnant women to eat healthy snacks between meals so they can meet their daily nutritional needs. Just try to avoid soft, sweet and sticky snacks that are high in carbohydrates and sugar.
And remember to clean your teeth after snacking to prevent cavities.

Is it safe to have an x-ray while I’m pregnant?

It is a good idea to avoid routine dental x-rays while you’re pregnant. In the event of a dental emergency, however, an x-ray may be essential.
If it happens, your dental professional will shield your abdomen with a lead apron to protect your baby from exposure to radiation.

Why do my gums keep bleeding?

Hormone changes during pregnancy can affect the gums, making them more sensitive and inflamed in response to bacteria along the gum line.
This can lead to red, swollen gums that bleed easily. Pregnancy gingivitis often appears between the third and ninth month of pregnancy. Gently brushing along the gum line when you brush your teeth can help tender, bleeding gums. Gum problems usually disappear after childbirth.

I have heard that a woman loses one tooth for every pregnancy. Is it true?

No. The calcium needed to make your baby’s teeth comes from what you eat, not from your own teeth. If you do not take in enough calcium to meet your baby’s needs, your body will provide this mineral from the calcium of your bones. Eating enough dairy products and taking a calcium supplement will ensure both you and your baby will have enough of this mineral without putting your bones at risk.

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