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Oral hygiene during pregnancy

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Women are at risk of having oral problems during pregnancy. Doctors strongly recommend to take care of teeth and gums if a woman if planning for a baby or is already pregnant. We explain you below the importance of oral hygiene in pregnancy and other aspects related to it.

Why oral care is important during pregnancy?

Compromised oral hygiene can affect the mother as well as the baby. Let’s find out how

For the mother:

You tend to eat a lot and very frequently during pregnancy. And on the top if you get cravings for sweets then you are more vulnerable to tooth problems. Due to eating habits and lack of proper oral hygiene, plaque starts building up.

Furthermore, the elevated hormonal levels also induce swelling and bleeding from gums and teeth, making them vulnerable to microbial infections. All in all, plaque build-up and dental bleeding might result in pregnancy gingivitis and periodontal disease if not managed early.

Other problems that you might experience during pregnancy are loose tooth and increased sensitivity

For the baby:

Not only mothers, but babies are also at risk of having health issues due to compromised oral health of their pregnant mothers. Research and case studies have revealed that  dental infection during gestation period can lead to low birth weight in babies and induce preterm labour as well.

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Dental care during pregnancy- Important points

Go for dental check up

Doctors advice all women to go for dental check-up as soon as they get pregnant. Dentists will speculate your oral health and accordingly plan your regular oral care hygiene.

Discuss with your doctor

When you consult your dentist, make sure you tell him/her the vitamins and pills you are taking. Also convey him any important advice that your gynaecologist has given you. This will help your dentist plan your dental treatment if at all you are having any sort of infection.

Get your teeth cleaned

Professional cleaning of teeth to remove plaque is safe and you can consider doing it.

Dental procedures to avoid

X rays are not really recommended during your pregnancy. However, if you are suffering from serious dental complications that need immediate treatment, then your doctor might perform x ray with extreme precaution so that your baby is protected from the x rays.  The same applies for anaesthesia.

However, you must consult with your ob-gyn before undergoing dental treatment.

How to maintain oral hygiene during pregnancy?

Pregnancy related oral problems can be managed very well if you are a little bit conscious of your oral hygiene.  We give you the tips below:

  • Shrug off that laziness to rinse your mouth after eating sugary foods like chocolates and candies. Wash your mouth with plain water.
  • You have to brush twice daily- morning and before bedtime. Clean your tongue and floss every day.
  • Avoid rinsing your mouth with an alcoholic mouthwash. Instead opt for herbal rinses or 100% alcohol free mouthwashes.
  • Get proper nutrition-  even though it might be difficult to control your craving, still try to avoid sugary and acidic foods as much as possible
  • Eat a balanced diet that would not only be beneficial for your dental health during pregnancy but will also be good for your baby when he/she develops teeth.
  • Lastly, do not skip your appointments with a dentist. If your doctor has suggested any special tooth care regimen then make sure you follow it.

Written by: healthplus24.com team

Date last updated: December 29, 2014