Pregnant women are highly prone to teeth and gum diseases as the increased levels of progesterone leads to an exaggerated response of plaque bacteria in the mouth cavity. Therefore, you are more likely to develop gingivitis when you are pregnant even if you follow a consistent oral health care routine. This gum disease is more common during second to eighth month of pregnancy.
Make sure you visit a dentist as soon as you get to know you are pregnant; he might recommend you more frequent dental cleanings when you will be in the second trimester and the third trimester to combat the effects of high progesterone levels. For a better dental health during these months, eat a balanced diet and ensure that you are getting enough of vitamin D, A and C, calcium, phosphorous, and protein.
There is myth saying that pregnant women lose calcium from her teeth if she lacks calcium in her diet during these months. But the fact is that inadequate calcium in diet will affect the bones, not the teeth. Thus, include plenty of calcium in your pregnancy diet so that both you and your baby’s bones and teeth get strong and healthy. Here are some oral care tips to be followed during pregnancy to avoid the dangers of gum diseases –
- Chew gums having xylitol after meals like the ones with mint extracts. You can also use a mouth wash that has xylitol; it will help you fight the bacteria that lead to tooth decay.
- Vomiting is a common side effect of pregnancy; make sure you rinse your mouth with a spoon filled with baking soda mixed in water. This is to prevent the acid from attacking your teeth.
- Improve your diet with the best of healthy fruits; include lots of vegetables, fruits, whole grain products like bread, cereals, dairy products like cheese, unsweetened yoghurt, milk etc. Protein foods like eggs, beans, chicken, fish, meat and nuts should be included as well.
- Restrict the amount of cookies, dried fruits, cake, beverages, and candies. Anything that is high in sugar should be avoided like fruity, flavored drinks etc. Read food labels to know which foods are high in sugar content.
- Instead of juice, drink water or milk – they are less harmful for your teeth.
- Practice proper oral hygiene; brush your teeth after every meal with good toothpaste and rinse your mouth multiple times. Remember that any kind of mouth infection can be harmful for the child as well.
You should also know when to contact a dentist immediately while you are pregnant. Here are few situations when you should take special care –
- Bad breath for a prolonged time and it does not go away even after changing oral habits or diet.
- Tooth pain or gum puffiness.
- Any kind of bleeding from tooth or gums
- If you are feeling any general soreness all over your mouth or excessive dryness, despite drinking enough water
These oral health care tips will not only keep you away from gingivitis but also other dental problems that might crop up in pregnancy. Once you are in habit, you can instill these healthy habits in your child as well!