Pregnancy is an exciting time, but it can also bring several unwanted changes to your body. For example, you might be dealing with morning sickness, back pain, or swollen feet. While these pregnancy concerns are well-known, oral health issues tend not to get as much attention. However, according to the CDC, up to 75 percent of pregnant people experience issues with their oral/dental health. Understanding why this happens and what steps you can take can help you protect your teeth and gums during this sensitive time.
Why Oral Health Can Be a Challenge During Pregnancy
Most people are aware that pregnancy is a time when hormones undergo considerable fluctuations. However, many people do not realize that these shifts can affect your oral health. Elevated levels of estrogen and progesterone can make teeth more sensitive to pain and gums more susceptible to inflammation. Because gingivitis carries risks for both you and your baby, learning how to minimize negative oral health issues during pregnancy is crucial. Here are a few steps you can take.
Use an Electric Toothbrush
You should continue to brush twice a day while pregnant. However, because bacteria can proliferate more freely in your mouth during pregnancy, you should be more proactive about eliminating them. Electric toothbrushes are more effective at cleaning your teeth and gums than manual brushes, so going electric is a wise investment. When shopping for your new brush, find one that can rotate in both directions, as this variety will make your teeth even cleaner.
Clean Between Your Teeth Daily
Due to the increased risk of gingivitis, flossing is at least as important during pregnancy as it is at other times. However, many people find that flossing is more likely to make their gums bleed during pregnancy. If this is the case for you, a water flosser may work best. These devices clean the gums and hard-to-reach spots in a gentler way than traditional floss, making them an ideal addition to your prenatal dental regimen.
Use a Fluoride Rinse
If you suffer from morning sickness, it can leave more than an unpleasant taste in your mouth. Vomiting can also threaten the integrity of your tooth enamel. Using a fluoride rinse can help reinforce the enamel, kill bacteria, and help your breath smell minty-fresh.
Avoid Whitening Products
While you might be desperate to keep your smile Instagrammable during pregnancy, whitening products may make your teeth and gums more sensitive. Put a pause on the whitening strips until after Baby arrives.
Keep Up with Your Dental Appointments
At Babylon Dental Care, we understand that pregnancy is a busy time. However, keeping up with your dentist and oral hygienist appointments is particularly important when you are expecting. Our oral health team is here to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy, and we can offer you personalized advice about modifying your routine between now and the big day. Contact us online or call us today at (631) 983-6665 to book an appointment.