Important Oral Health Pregnancy Tips 2023
Matt Hannan, DDS
Updated: November 27, 2023
Maintaining diligent oral hygiene – brushing, flossing, and regular dental care – is crucial, particularly during pregnancy.
Elevated progesterone hormone levels during this period can make your gums more susceptible to plaque buildup and inflammation.
A condition characterized by swollen, red gums is known as gingivitis. If not addressed promptly, it can progress to periodontal disease.
Therefore, eliminating bacteria before it escalates into a serious problem is paramount.
Oral Health During Pregnancy
Regular dental check-ups during pregnancy are crucial to curtail and prevent bacterial invasion. One common sign of gum inflammation is bleeding during brushing or flossing. However, the paradox is that the more regularly you floss, the less likely your gums will bleed.
With that in mind, let’s delve deeper into strategies to maintain the dental health of both you and your unborn baby.
Brushing & Flossing Tips
- Brush your teeth with a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste twice a day to prevent tooth decay
- Floss once a day before bedtime
- Use a fluoride mouth rinse before bedtime
- If you vomit from morning sickness, rinse your mouth with water
- If you feel too sick to brush, rinse your mouth with a fluoride mouthwash
Healthy Eating Habits
- Drink the recommended amount of water per day
- Drink water or low-fat milk instead of sugar-rich drinks
- Eat fruits, vegetables, whole-grain and dairy products
- Eat lean meats, fish, chicken, eggs, beans and nuts
- Limit sugary snacks and beverages
- Limit sweets like candy, cookies or cake
- Look for products that contain xylitol, such as chewing gum and mints
Dental Care Tips
- Dental care is safe when you’re pregnant
- Inform the dental team that you’re pregnant before x-rays
- The dental team may recommend fluoride rinses
- They may recommend chewing gum with xylitol
- Xylitol reduces bacteria that can cause dental decay and gingivitis
Oral Health After Pregnancy
Taking charge of your oral health post-pregnancy is vital to prevent the transmission of bacteria to your baby. Oral bacteria can be easily transferred, making it paramount to provide a healthy start for your newborn. Maintain a routine of brushing, flossing, and regular dental check-ups. Now, let’s explore strategies for caring for your baby’s gums and teeth.
- Germs can pass from your mouth to your baby’s mouth
- Use a different spoon when tasting their food
- Clean your baby’s gums after feeding
- Use a soft toothbrush or damp washcloth
- First tooth will arrive around 6 to 10 months
- Use a smear of fluoride toothpaste when brushing
- Don’t put your baby to sleep with a bottle
- Take your baby to the dentist within six months of their first tooth
Recommended Reading: Pregnancy Gingivitis: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment 2023!
My Experience & Expertise
In conclusion, oral health is essential to overall well-being, and its importance is heightened during and after pregnancy. Not only does diligent dental care impact your health, but it also plays a crucial role in your baby’s early development.
Regular brushing, flossing, and dental visits are indispensable routines for keeping oral bacteria at bay. Furthermore, initiating proper dental care for your baby from the earliest stages contributes to their lifelong oral health. Remember, a healthy smile is one of the greatest gifts you can give to your child, and it starts with you.
Knowledge is power when cultivating healthy dental habits. The more informed you are, the better positioned you’ll be to prevent avoidable and potentially costly dental procedures for you and your family. Watch for future blog posts, where we’ll continue sharing important information, product reviews and practical advice!