Pregnancy has a significant effect on the body, and your mouth is not immune from the changes that often occur. If you and your partner decide it’s time to start trying for a baby, it is a good idea to schedule an appointment with your dentist for a check-up. Why?
Doing so will allow for any problematic issues to be detected and taken care of before your pregnancy. From sensitive teeth to bleeding gums, there are many ways to maintain your oral health. Read on to learn more.
When you’re pregnant, your body will produce more estrogen and progesterone, making your gums overreact to every little irritant. It can increase your risk for periodontal disease. Much like regular gingivitis, reducing your sweet intake and replacing it with healthier foods is a major step in the right direction. Notice which foods and drinks make your teeth sensitive, so you can avoid them until after your pregnancy.
Make sure you continue to floss once and brush twice each day. Your gums should return to normal once you’ve delivered and your body recovers.
There’s not much you can do for morning sickness, other than rinse your mouth out with water or mouthwash. Morning sickness will leave you feeling less than stellar, so choose a toothpaste flavour that you’re sure you’ll want, such as mint.
Meals & Cravings
During your pregnancy, your dietary choices affect your oral health. Cut out sugary drinks as much as possible, stop drinking alcohol altogether, and opt for filtered water. Embrace Canada’s recently modified food guide for a well-balanced diet, primarily foods that have vitamins A, C, and D; protein; calcium; and phosphorus.
Cravings may have you desiring the strangest of food choices, but keep in mind that you’re opening yourself to tooth decay if you indulge in too many sugary treats. Since you’ll be eating for two, your baby’s health is dependent upon your choices.
Smoking & Breathing in Second-Hand Smoke
Smoking can cause a number of pregnancy complications, including:
- Low birth weight
- Preterm birth
- Birth defects, such as missing teeth and caries
Not only is smoking not healthy for your baby, it damages your own body. Cannabis and cigarettes cause dry mouth, increased susceptibility to oral diseases, and increased appetite, to name a few.
Second-hand smoke has been proven to cause cancer and birth defects since the nicotine from the smoke passes from the mother through the placenta. Smoke decreases blood flow, which affects your baby’s organs and systems.
What you can do to protect yourself and your child is to use air filters in your home and car. Since cannabis is legal in Canada, move away from smokers as soon as possible. Luckily, indoor spaces are still smoke-free.
If you’re a smoker, quitting is the best solution. The pan-Canadian quitline is available toll-free at 1-866-366-3667.
Come See Us!
King Town Dental is open from Monday to Saturday, and our compassionate team will answer all of your questions. Check out the Government of Canada’s extensive guide for oral health during pregnancy, or contact King Town Dental to speak with a dental professional.
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