Your dental health has a big impact on your overall health. Oral health can also have a major influence on the health of your baby during pregnancy, when hormonal fluctuations can exacerbate problems with your teeth and gums. To ensure a healthy pregnancy, take extra care of your teeth by maintaining regular check-ups and professional cleaning. Your dentist knows which medications you can safely take, and which procedures can safely be performed.
Some women develop “pregnancy gingivitis”, where gums swell and become more sensitive and bleed during brushing and flossing. If this affects you, your dentist can keep a close eye on your gums during pregnancy, and help you manage this condition.
Food cravings are common during pregnancy. If your cravings take a turn towards sweet foods, try to limit the sugary snacks, instead opt for healthier options such as fresh fruit with natural or Greek yoghurt.
If you suffer from morning sickness, you need to know that vomit is highly acidic and can cause irreversible damage to your teeth. Although its tempting to brush your teeth straight after a bout of morning sickness, it’s best to wait 30 minutes before brushing. Brushing too soon after being sick can in fact strip away the enamel, leaving your teeth more vulnerable to decay and sensitivity. To reduce the acids in your mouth while you are waiting to brush, try rinsing your mouth with water (or 1tsp bicarb soda in water), chewing sugar-free gum or eating acid-neutralising foods like milk and cheese.