Many women are unaware of the importance of oral hygiene during pregnancy. Pregnancy can cause many different changes in the body, one of which increases the number of bacteria in the mouth. This can lead to several problems, including gum disease and tooth decay.
This article discusses the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene during pregnancy, including tips on keeping your mouth healthy while you are expecting! So let’s get started!
Why Maintaining Good Oral Hygiene is Important During Pregnancy?
During pregnancy, the levels of progesterone in a woman’s body increase. This hormone is responsible for many different changes in the body, including bacteria build-up in the mouth. This can lead to several problems, including gum disease and tooth decay. Several other factors can also increase the risk of oral health issues during pregnancy, including:
Changes in Diet and Eating Habits
Many pregnant women find that they are hungrier than usual and tend to snack more often. While it is essential to eat healthy snacks, it is also important to be mindful of the foods you consume. Some foods are more harmful to your teeth and gums than others. For example, sugary and starchy foods can contribute to tooth decay.
Vomiting and Morning Sickness
Vomiting and morning sickness are common during pregnancy. However, these can also be harmful to your oral health. The stomach acid brought up during vomiting can damage the enamel on your teeth. Additionally, if you are frequently vomiting, you may also be at risk for dehydration. Dehydration can lead to dry mouth, further increasing the risk of gum disease and tooth decay.
Changes in Hormones
Pregnancy hormones can also cause changes in the oral cavity. For example, an increase in estrogen levels can make the gums more sensitive and susceptible to bleeding. Additionally, progesterone levels can cause the gums to swell and become inflamed. These changes in the oral cavity can make it more challenging to keep your mouth clean and healthy.
How to Maintain Good Oral Hygiene During Pregnancy?
Now that we’ve discussed the importance of oral hygiene during pregnancy let’s look at some tips on maintaining your oral health during this time.
1. Brush Your Teeth at Least Twice a Day
One of the most important things you can do for your oral health is to brushing your teeth at least twice a day is recommended. This will help remove any plaque or bacteria that has built up on your teeth. Additionally, be sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride. Fluoride is a mineral that helps strengthen the teeth and prevent tooth decay.
2. Floss Daily
In addition to brushing your teeth, it is also essential to floss daily. This will help remove any food particles or plaque that has collected between your teeth. If you are not used to flossing, you may want to start by flossing once a day. Once you get into the habit, you can move up to two or even three times a day.
3. Use Mouthwash
Mouthwash is another excellent way to help keep your mouth healthy during pregnancy. Some types of mouthwash help reduce the number of bacteria in the mouth, while others help strengthen tooth enamel and prevent acid erosion. Talk to your dentist or doctor about which type of mouthwash is right for you.
4. Eat a Healthy Diet
As we mentioned earlier, what you eat can significantly impact your oral health. Be sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and limit sugary and starchy foods. If you do eat sugary snacks, be sure to brush your teeth or rinse your mouth afterward.
5. See Your Dentist Regularly
It is important to visit a dental clinic at least twice a year, even while you are pregnant. This will help your dentist to identify any oral health issues that may be developing and treat them as needed. They can also provide you with additional tips on how to maintain good oral hygiene during pregnancy.
6. Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking plenty of water will not only benefit the baby also, but it will ensure that your mouth stays hydrated. This can help to prevent dry mouth, which is one of the main causes of gum disease and tooth decay.
7. Stay Away from Tobacco
Finally, it is important to avoid smoking or using tobacco products while you are pregnant. Not only will this help keep your oral health in good shape, but it can also benefit the baby’s health as well. Talk to your doctor or midwife if you are having trouble quitting. There are many resources available that can help you kick the habit for good.
As you can see, there are many different things that you can do to keep your oral health in top shape while pregnant. By following these tips and seeing your dentist regularly, you can help to ensure that you and your baby have healthy teeth and gums.