If you’re an expecting mother, first of all – CONGRATULATIONS! You’re probably feeling just as much excitement as you are stress, but fear not! We have put together a simple prenatal guide to follow to ensure you & your baby are as healthy as possible during this amazing time!
Let’s start with getting back to the basics: Brushing & Flossing. You should always be using toothpaste containing fluoride with an extra-soft toothbrush twice per day for two minutes each time. Focus on the motion & grip of the brush. “Repetition, not roughness,” as Dr. Roman always says. Along with that, gently floss once per day or use a Waterpik on the lowest setting.
As your body is going through so many changes, your mouth is too. Your changing hormone levels can leave your mouth more vulnerable to bacteria & have a more difficult time fighting off plaque. You can become more susceptible to build-up, decay, and gingivitis, so it’s important to keep up with your regular hygiene visits. We recommend consulting with your regular doctor regarding x-rays. Although the radiation is very minimal and you are protected by a lead apron & thyroid collar, we never want to do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable. If you come for your visits regularly and have good home care, x-rays can usually be postponed unless there is a suspicious area the doctors would like to take a closer look at. X-rays are used to check for oral health issues that may not be easily spotted on the surface. The mouth is a gateway, so we have to be sure we are doing everything we can to prevent infection from spreading to other parts of the body.
Morning sickness is most common during the first trimester. Rinse out with a mouthwash or salt water to prevent stomach acid from causing erosion. Gum inflammation and pregnancy tumors (patches of overgrown tissue) are most common during the second trimester, causing tenderness and even some bleeding. Certain pain medications and x-rays are the standard, safe treatment if you’re having any pain or discomfort during this time. Rinsing with salt water will also soothe them. Basically, when in doubt, use salt water 😀
We’ve all heard about having strange cravings during pregnancy, so you may find yourself snacking more often than usual. More constant snacking & eating affects the mouth’s pH levels, causing teeth to be more inclined to getting cavities. It’s good to be more conscious of the foods you’re eating. Your baby’s teeth will begin to develop between 3-6 months of pregnancy, so it’s important to limit high-sugar foods & drinks. Be sure to drink plenty of water and eat healthy, nutritious foods. Try to snack on fruits & veggies and foods that are pH neutralizers like cheese or a banana, for example. Of course, rinsing after eating never hurts either. If you’re taking a prenatal vitamin containing folic acid to support your baby’s health, we recommend steering away from chewy gummy vitamins because most contain sugar and stick to your teeth = cavities!!!
The most important thing to do during this time is to try to be as stress-free as possible & enjoy the whole experience. It’s such a beautiful time – you don’t want to put so much weight into worrying. If you have good home care, keep up with your regular hygiene visits, and keep with a generally healthy diet, you’ll have nothing to worry about! If you’re not a first-time mother, have you experienced any tooth problems during your pregnancy? Did you know what to expect when they came up? We’d love to hear your comments or feedback! Good luck, moms!!!