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Pregnancy is a life altering experience for the parents especially the mother. A mother has to go through a lot both emotionally and physically during the 9 months of pregnancy before she can enjoy the joys of being a mother. During the same time, there are a lot of precautions that needs to be taken so that both the mother, as well as the baby, is healthy at birth.

When I became pregnant for the first time, as a typical mother I was over-cautious of a lot of things. Although dental health wasn’t among the things on top of my mind then but, believe me, from my experience as a mother of 3, oral health is something not to be overlooked. Pregnancy causes hormonal changes in our body. High Progesterone (a kind of a hormone) levels cause an exaggerated response to plaque bacteria in our mouth. Our gums swell up, sometimes also bleed and trap food more often causing the growth of bacteria leading to gum diseases. The effect is not only limited to the mother, it also affects the growing baby inside us.

Therefore, it is always advisable to visit your dentist before you plan your pregnancy and get yourself checked for any dental problems beforehand. It is strictly advised not to undergo any dental procedures in your 1st trimester and the second half of your 3rd trimester as it may affect the baby’s development. Routine dental procedures can be taken in the 2nd trimester after consulting with your doctor and dentist. Any elective dental procedures like teeth whitening, etc should be scheduled after the delivery.

Here are some things that you should keep in mind to keep a good oral health during pregnancy-

  • Keep regular dental appointments to avoid periodontal diseases which are common during pregnancy. Pregnancy gingivitis is the most common dental condition that affects pregnant women. In this, your gums swell up, they often bleed and trap food leading to the growth of plaque bacteria.
  • Share any medication or prenatal vitamins that you are having with your dentist. This would ensure that he does not prescribe anything that would interfere or affect your health.
  • Avoid dental X-rays. These can affect the health of the baby. Your dentist will advise you according to the severity of the condition.
  • Eat right- avoid sugary snacks. Sugar cravings are common during pregnancy
  • Eat a healthy balanced diet. Baby’s teeth start to develop during the first trimester. Ensure that you are taking in foods rich in calcium, vitamin D, C and A, phosphorous and protein. Dairy products, cheese, yoghurt are a rich source of calcium and protein. Eating the right food helps in proper development of the baby’s teeth.
  • Brush twice a day, floss once a day. Use a soft bristled brush due to sensitive gums. Floss helps avoid plaque buildup.
  • Chew sugarless or Xylitol containing gum 2-3 times a day. It helps keep plaque at bay
  • After vomiting, rinse your mouth with a teaspoon of baking soda mixed in one cup of water. Help neutralize the stomach acids and prevent teeth decay.

You should plan any major dental procedures like root canal treatment after your delivery if it isn’t causing you too much discomfort. If the pain is unbearable, visit your dentist and consult with him. A heavy dosage of anesthetics is not advised during pregnancy. Also, there are some safe antibiotics that you can take during pregnancy which your dentist will be able to prescribe.

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One thought on “Oral care during Pregnancy

  1. I have been surfing online more than three hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me. Personally, if all website owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the internet will be much more useful than ever before.

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