Congratulations! You’re pregnant. You’ve read the books, Grandma is busy knitting teeny tiny booties and you’ve booked all your Doctor’s appointments.
But what about your teeth?
Not many people realise how pregnancy affects the health of your teeth and why it’s so important to visit your friendly Dentist while you’re busy growing your lil’ bub.
The pregnancy myths
First, let’s bust open a myth. You don’t need to see the Dentist during pregnancy because your little bump is stealing your calcium! A lot of people believe the unborn bub is sucking away your calcium, which affects the health of your teeth. Not true. Your baby might be telling you to eat pickled onions and Cheetos, but he/she is definitely not stealing your calcium!
There are, however, some other things going on during pregnancy that will affect your teeth and gums, so it’s really important to have regular Dentist appointments if you’re pregnant so we can keep a check on your teeth and gums.
What to look out for during pregnancy
Here are the big things that we’ll be looking out for when you come in for a visit:
Pregnancy gingivitis, or gum disease
While pregnant you’re much more susceptible to certain health conditions, including gum disease or, as it’s known during pregnancy, ‘pregnancy gingivitis’. You can also get pregnancy tumours, which are red, lumps on your gum line and between your teeth. They both sound a bit dramatic, but it’s something your Dentist can easily spot and treat. The tumours are completely harmless and will disappear after the baby is born.
Those crazy hormones can do funny things hey? Including making you feel nauseated or sick at any time of day, not just mornings! Not only is being sick pretty gross for you, vomit is also high in acid so it can cause a lot of damage to your teeth. Don’t worry though, there are some easy things you can do to help your teeth (sorry, we can’t help with the sickness!).
Avoid brushing your teeth after being sick as this just spreads the acid around your mouth and makes the problem worse (this goes for being sick at any time). Use water to rinse your mouth out and make you feel a bit better. To get rid of the ‘ick’ feeling in your mouth you can chew sugar-free gum, suck on some toothpaste, or eat an acid-neutralising food, such as milk or hard cheese. Give it at least 45 minutes to an hour before brushing your teeth to let that acid completely disappear.
‘Hush hormones, you don’t need sugar’. Pregnancy cravings can be such a pain! They’re always telling you to eat funny things, and some of those things are just not good. You know it, your body knows it – so how can you stop it?
Oh go on, have a teeny bit of the good stuff, but try to limit the sweet, sugary treats for the sake of your teeth and gums. As we mentioned earlier, you’re more susceptible to gum disease at this time, so you really need to look after them well. Try nibbling on some yoghurt, a piece of fruit or a few nuts to fill the hole and shush the voice.
Dry mouth (and tangy breath!)
Notice people standing a bit further back when you talk? That could be because your mouth is a bit drier than normal (also called ‘xerostomia’). We need saliva to keep everything in perfect balance, so a dry mouth can contribute to gum disease, which will eventually make your breath a bit pongy. If you’ve got some nice friends who are politely looking away when you chat to them, just keep a bottle of water nearby to keep your mouth as fresh as a Brazilian rainforest. And, most importantly, pop in to see us so we can check for any signs of gum disease.
We’re here to help
Pregnancy is a fun and exciting time, and we just LOVE talking about all things ‘baby’ at Warragul Dental Care. So, if this if your nine months to shine, just let us know about your exciting news whenever you’re ready and we’ll look after the healthy teeth and gums side of things.
That’s one more thing to tick off your baby list of ‘things to do’, doesn’t that feel great?
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