Irritated and inflamed gums are common during pregnancy due to hormonal changes. This is due to an exaggerated response to plaque on your teeth. A combination of meticulous at home oral care and regular visits to your dentist during pregnancy can prevent this. It is not uncommon for expecting mothers to put off going to the dentist due to feeling lethargic, morning sickness, or the numerous other prenatal appointments that are required. However, there is a proven link between gum disease in pregnant women and premature birth, which may put your baby at risk of a number of health conditions.
Some things to consider when looking after you and your babies teeth include:
- Morning sickness can cause erosion of your teeth. It is important not to brush for at least 30 minutes after vomiting or reflux, just rinse your mouth out with water
- It is very important to brush your teeth twice a day, spit and not rinse to keep the fluoride on your teeth. If you are finding you are gagging more during pregnancy, use a small headed electric or children’s toothbrush
- Fluoride strengthens your teeth and helps fight decay, and is completely safe to use during pregnancy
- It is very common to experience cravings during pregnancy. Do your best to choose snacks which are low in sugar, fat, salt and high in fibre. This will hopefully decrease the frequency of snacks