Pregnancy is an exciting time as you look forward to your new baby arriving. However, while you look forward to your bundle of joy, you may experience overwhelm as your body goes through a seemingly endless array of changes. Your teeth and gums are no exception to this change, and your oral care should not be ignored. In fact, now is the time to be more diligent than ever about your dental health.
Pregnant women experience major hormonal changes that can cause increased mouth sensitivity, including bleeding gums during brushing and flossing. This condition is known as “pregnancy periodontal disease.” Research has shown a connection between periodontal disease and pre-term low birth weight babies. Therefore, during pregnancy, it is important to practice optimal oral care and to see your dentist regularly.
Pregnant women may also have a higher risk of tooth decay. Morning sickness, in particular, can cause increased acid exposure to your mouth, which can eat away at the enamel of your teeth. The American Dental Association recommends that if you are having frequent vomiting from morning sickness, mix a teaspoon of baking soda with 8 ounces of water and use to rinse your mouth. This will neutralize the stomach acid on your teeth.
Things to keep in mind about your oral care:
- Floss and brush regularly – dentists typically recommend the use of a soft bristle toothbrush. However, when you’re pregnant, it’s even more important to use soft bristle because your gums are more sensitive.
- Use a mouth rinse – rinses will reduce plaque and bacteria, and they will protect your teeth and gums. Our dentist can recommend a rinse that is safe for your baby.
- Visit us – it’s important to stay on track with your checkups and cleanings during pregnancy. If there are any dental concerns that need to be addressed, it’s best to be aware of them as soon as possible.
While you are pregnant, be sure to continue following great oral hygiene habits, and keep your scheduled dental appointments. If you are experiencing any unusual oral concerns, call us today at 979-968-9451 or you can contact us online.
Dr. Karen Roberts