Pregnancy can be a wonderful experience for most women, but it is also a time to take good care of the mother’s changing body. One of the critical changes she will need to address is dental care. During pregnancy, there will be less calcium in the teeth to support the growing infant, leaving a woman’s teeth weakened and vulnerable to decay. Detailed dental care is essential during pregnancy.
Get regular checkups
Most people are advised to see their dentist twice a year for routine checkups. A pregnant woman should let her dentist know even if it is not time for her regular checkup, as this may impact if and when her teeth are x-rayed during a checkup. She also may need an additional visit to look for evidence of new cavities or weaknesses in her teeth.
Brush after meals
Although it is recommended that people brush twice daily, pregnant women should consider brushing after every meal due to their teeth’s heightened sensitivity to cavities. Portable toothbrushes can be taken anywhere for a quick brushing in the restroom after eating.
Rinse if you can’t brush
When brushing isn’t practical due to forgetting to bring a toothbrush or lack of time, rising the mouth with clean water after eating can help to flush out bacteria. Rinsing with mouthwash is a good idea at least once a day to kill germs and prevent the development of plaque.
Avoid sweets and acidic foods
Certain foods should be avoided or eaten in small amounts during pregnancy. Sugary foods like candy and cookies leave a sticky residue on the teeth which provide a perfect breeding ground for germs. Acidic substances, mainly soda beverages, can erode the enamel of teeth, leaving them more susceptible to bacteria and decay.
Between meals, snacks should be small, healthy, or avoided. Many people do not see the need to brush their teeth after a snack, and this provides the perfect opportunity for dental decay to set in. Healthy snacks include fresh fruits and vegetables or cheese, followed by brushing or at least rinsing the mouth.
Use dental aids
A dental pick, floss, and mouthwash are readily available for home use as extra precautions against cavities. Ask the dentist for the best way to use these products for optimum results. A few simple guidelines like these can make a big difference in protecting a pregnant woman’s dental health. The dentist can provide more information on added precautions for protective dental hygiene during pregnancy.Anita is a freelance writer from Denver and often writes about family, health, home and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family when she isn’t writing. Informational credit to Mercy.net.