If you are pregnant you are probably experiencing one of the most exciting moments of your life. Many emotions and hormonal changes occur at this stage and affect your mood and health.
But most importantly, congratulations! You are going to be a mother and you carry within you the greatest treasure. Now you have to take care of yourself for two, eat well, exercise, rest and pay attention to your health, so that your baby develops healthily. And that is why oral health in pregnant women is as important as the rest, since the many changes you are experiencing affect you in every way.
Therefore, it is essential that you go to your dentist during your pregnancy to do, at a minimum, a dental cleaning during your gestation period. Numerous studies show that good oral health prevents premature birth or low birth weight.
1. Inform your dentist of your pregnancy
Your dentist should know that you are going to be a mother as soon as possible since she will duly inform you about the next steps to take regarding dental health. He will be in charge of carrying out a complete oral check-up and determining, if necessary, the treatments that you should follow, in case there is any change in your mouth.
2. Check your mouth every 3 months
If everything is going well and no treatment is necessary, don’t let your guard down. You should perform a quarterly oral hygiene. Hormonal changes not only affect your mood, they also affect your mouth. The gums become more vulnerable to bacterial plaque since many of the hormones are released through saliva, favoring the development of bacteria and reducing the effect of the immune system on them. It is not something serious, but if it is not treated correctly with a dentist it can lead to a bigger problem.
3. Watch out for periodontal problems
You should not miss any change that occurs in your mouth because, as we have said, even if it is not serious, if it is not treated properly it can become a problem. Gingivitis is one of the common problems that usually appears in the third month of pregnancy. The gums become red and swollen and carry bacteria that can affect the proper development of the baby. It is advisable to rinse with water and salt to relieve inflammation. Therefore, the correct treatment of cavities, gingivitis and periodontal diseases translates into good health for you and your baby.
4. Limit sugary foods to prevent cavities
You should limit highly cariogenic sweets and snack outside of the recommended 5 meals per day. The annoying and common nausea also causes a change in the pH of your saliva, causing it to become more acidic and affecting the enamel of your teeth, making them more vulnerable to cavities and dental erosion. Other factors that can influence the appearance of caries are changes in eating habits during pregnancy, the frequency of meals, and the lack of time to brush your teeth after each meal.
5. Brush your teeth after every meal
Although it sounds cliché, in your pregnancy it is more important than ever that you always keep your mouth clean. Therefore, it is recommended to brush your teeth and tongue after each meal for at least 3 minutes.
6. The toothbrush should have fine bristles
To achieve complete and healthy hygiene, use a soft brush, since the gums, as we have seen, are more sensitive during pregnancy, and could be damaged by the repeated use of a hard brush. This will help prevent irritation and protect the enamel. To use it correctly consult your dentist.
7. Do not use the same brush for more than 3 months
Although it may seem like new, the toothbrush accumulates bacteria and is exposed to external agents that can affect your oral health. It is advisable to replace it with a new one every three months and also if you have had a contagious disease, such as a cold.
8. Maintain a balanced diet
Taking care of your diet is very important not only for your oral health as a pregnant woman, but also for your general health. You must follow a healthy and balanced diet, with five meals a day being ideal. Limit the most cariogenic sweets and snacking between meals. Fruits and vegetables are your allies along with dairy products and rich in protein, calcium, phosphorus and vitamins A, D and E.
9. Drink lots of water
With pregnancy, it is very likely that you will suffer from xerostomia or dry mouth. It is normal due to hormonal changes that this anomaly occurs. It is best to always have a bottle of water on hand to relieve it.
10. Do not listen to false myths
You will have heard many statements about oral health for pregnant women, the first thing is to know what is and what is not true. For example, during pregnancy teeth are not lost nor does the baby deplete your body’s calcium reserves to form her teeth.