When preparing for the birth of a child, your teeth may be the last thing on your mind. Studies have linked gum disease during pregnancy to premature labor, as well as some other complications. It is also important to take care of yourself and your teeth, even when your focus may be on caring for your new family member.
Many pregnant women complain of swollen, bleeding gums, which results from the increase of progesterone in your body.The increase in hormones can also cause you to be more prone to gingivitis, so it is extra important to care for your teeth and gums.
While expecting, a couple key steps can be taken to ensure oral health throughout your pregnancy:
1. It may be tempting to skip your six month (or whatever your dentist recommends for you) dental visits, but maintain your usual schedule of hygiene visits. Talk with your dentist about the best time to come (factors can include comfort, increased gag reflex, etc), which is generally in your second trimester, and don’t forget to fit in a good cleaning before you have the increased scheduling demands of a newborn.
2. When snack attacks happen, reach for fruits, vegetables, and nuts, rather than sugary, processed foods. This is better for your whole body–and your baby.
3. Maintain your routine of brushing at least twice a day, and flossing, even if your gums are sensitive. Talk over some other flossing options or see here if you are looking for alternatives to traditional flossing.