Pregnancy is a time of great change in the body, including for your teeth and mouth. For example, 9 out of 10 women suffer from gum problems while pregnant as a result of hormonal changes. That’s why taking care of your teeth during this time is particularly important.
Teeth care during pregnancy
Morning sickness. Vomiting can coat your teeth with acid and do permanent damage to the enamel. If you’re suffering from morning sickness then rinse your mouth out with water every time you’re sick. Avoid brushing straight away – wait 30 minutes to give the enamel on your teeth time to recover.
Problems with oral hygiene. There are a range of different issues that can arise for pregnant women. For example, some find that trying to use a toothbrush makes them gag. You may also have red, swollen gums that put you off brushing, or you may feel too tired to keep up with regular oral routines. It’s important to make sure that you maintain oral hygiene while pregnant so that your body is healthy and you can avoid treatment for infections etc. Brush twice a day and floss once to avoid plaque build up.
A lack of calcium. The mineral calcium is important for your teeth and bones, as well as for those of your baby. Around three months into a pregnancy your baby’s teeth will start to develop and it’s crucial that, at that point, you’re getting enough calcium. Most of us absorb calcium through our diet and foods such as milk and cheese. However, if you’re not getting enough then you might want to consider supplements.
Bleeding gums. As mentioned, gum problems are very common in pregnant women and very widely experienced. As this tends to be triggered by hormones, not periodontal disease, it is not as much of a cause for concern as for someone who isn’t pregnant. However, it’s important to accommodate this change – switch to a softer toothbrush, for example, or consider using a toothpaste for sensitive teeth if your gums are particularly tender.
Food cravings. Pregnancy can trigger some very odd food cravings and often these have a very sugary (e.g. chocolate) or acidic element to them (e.g. pickles). No matter what you’re craving, make sure that you’re still taking good care of your teeth. Try to limit those foods that are filled with sugar, salt or which are very acidic and rinse your mouth each time you eat. Make sure that you’re drinking enough water too – staying hydrated will be good for the health of your mouth, as well as for the rest of your body.