Whether you have just found out that you are expecting, or you recently gave birth, these simple yet effective dental tips are designed to last you throughout your pregnancy and into your baby’s first stages.
One of the most common challenges for pregnant women is hormonal changes that put you at risk of gum disease. This in turn can affect your growing baby. Healthy teeth and gums for mom means a healthy baby. To give you some expert advice, we have put together a list of easy to follow dental tips.
Dental Tips for Expecting Moms and Babies
How can you be sure that your teeth and gums stay healthy throughout your pregnancy and beyond? A few dental tips to keep in mind include the following:
- Tell your dentist if you are pregnant. Routine dental procedures can be done at any point throughout your pregnancy, and even urgent procedures can often be done. However, the dentist will also communicate with your gynaecologist about treatment required. It is best to avoid elective procedures until after you give birth. By telling your dentist that you are expecting, he or she will know whether any specific precautions may apply. You will also get tailored tips on what to do and what to avoid.
- Don’t skip your dental check-ups. Now, more than ever, it is vital to keep to your regular check-ups to ensure that you do not develop gum disease. Gum exams are especially important to address the increase risk during your pregnancy. Look out for warning signs such as bleeding and tender gums that are swollen or uncomfortable. If these signs appear at any stage, schedule an appointment right away. Left unchecked, oral disease can end up harming your baby. Oral disease and poor oral hygiene has been linked to pre mature or low birth weight babies.
- Combat morning sickness. If morning sickness is making it hard to brush your teeth, try changing to a bland tasting toothpaste. You can ask your dentist for recommendations. Rinse your mouth out often if you are prone to morning sickness. It’s also best to not brush your teeth straight after vomiting, as your tooth enamel may be worn due to the increase acid production. One can also use an electric toothbrush to make brushing easier.
- Eat a balanced diet. Your baby’s very first teeth start to develop around three months into your pregnancy. It is important to eat a varied, healthy diet rich in nutrients that promote developing gums, teeth and bones – mild, cheese, yoghurt and spinach are all high in calcium.
- Start cleaning your baby’s mouth even before the teeth arrive. You can wipe your baby’s gums after each feeding, using a damp cloth or piece of gauze around your finger. This is essential to keep excess food from your baby’s gums.
- Avoid cavities from as early as possible. Early signs of cavities in baby teeth include discolouration and slight pitting. Never put your baby to bed with a bottle – milk is bad enough but juice is especially bad for early cavities. It’s better to avoid leaving your baby with a bottle for any long period of time, especially if the baby is no longer feeding as this can result in decay of the child’s front teeth also known as Early Childhood Caries.
Here at Gateway Dental, we offer a relaxed, comfortable dental practice in Durban that caters to expecting moms, babies, small children and many other patients. Book your visit now to get more dental tips from our highly trained, experienced team of child friendly dental experts.