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How to Maintain Oral Health During Pregnancy

When you become pregnant, your risk of developing oral health diseases increases. According to the CDC, 60 to 75% of pregnant women have gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease. Caring for your oral health during pregnancy is essential for your and your baby’s health. Learn how to maintain good oral health during pregnancy and when to contact your Melbourne, FL, dentist for assistance caring for your smile.

Tips for Maintaining Oral Health During Pregnancy

1. See Your Dentist Regularly

Don’t be tempted to skip your next dentist appointment just because you’re pregnant. Your Melbourne, FL, dentist can provide you with exceptional care without putting you or your baby at risk.

During pregnancy, hormonal changes occur, and women experience other side effects that could make them more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease. To maintain optimal oral health, visit your dentist for regular exams and cleanings.

2. Practice Good Oral Hygiene

In addition to seeing your dentist regularly, you should practice good oral hygiene at home. This means brushing at least twice daily with fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, and rinsing with an alcohol-free mouthwash.

Are you experiencing morning sickness? Rinse your mouth with a teaspoon of baking soda mixed in a cup of water after vomiting to prevent the acids from attacking your tooth enamel.

3. Eat a Healthy, Balanced Diet

You probably already know the importance of eating well to support a healthy pregnancy. However, it’s also essential for good oral health. Consume nutritious foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products, and whole-grain products. Fish, meats, eggs, beans, and nuts are good choices.

Keep sugary snacks and beverages to a minimum. Instead, select foods low in sugar, like cheese, veggies, and unsweetened yogurt. Switch out pop and fruit-flavored drinks for plain water. If you’re having trouble keeping food down due to nausea, aim to eat small meals consisting of healthy foods throughout the day.

4. Watch for Signs of Gingivitis

Even if you see your dentist regularly, watching for signs of gum disease is essential. Several warning signs often accompany gingivitis, including:

  • Sensitive or sore gums
  • Redness and swelling
  • Bleeding gums
  • Bad breath
  • Teeth that feel loose

If you experience any signs of early gum disease, there’s no need to panic, but it is a good idea to consult your dentist.

5. Take Your Prenatal Vitamins

Your OB/GYN will likely prescribe prenatal vitamins throughout your pregnancy. These vitamins are designed to aid in your baby’s development and ensure that any nutritional gaps you may be experiencing are filled with the proper nutrients. Prenatal vitamins can also help improve your dental health by providing essential nutrients like vitamin D and calcium.

When to See a Dentist During Pregnancy

You may wonder if there are other times outside of regular cleanings and exams when you should visit your dentist. If you need treatment for a cavity or other dental issue that can’t wait, try to schedule it in the second trimester. This is often considered the safest time for you and your baby to receive dental treatment.

If possible, elective dental procedures, such as tooth whitening, implants, or veneers, should be delayed until the baby is born. This eliminates unnecessary risks.

Despite common misconceptions, dental X-rays during pregnancy are generally safe for most women. The amount of radiation a patient receives is extremely low, and your dentist will provide a lead apron to provide further protection. However, some patients may prefer to eliminate this risk by delaying dental X-rays until after the child is born.

Schedule an Appointment Today

Located in Melbourne, FL, Artistic Touch Dentistry offers comprehensive dental services for the whole family. Whether you’re pregnant or planning to conceive shortly, our team of dental experts can help you maintain your smile before, during, and after pregnancy. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Artistic Touch Dentistry at 321.724.1400.

Invisalign braces or an appointment, contact Artistic Touch Dentistry at (321) 724-1400.