Pregnancy can be a traumatic time for any expecting mother's body. From sore feet to raging hormones, it seems every mother has a war story to share. When the rest of your body is changing on a daily basis, the last thing on any expecting mother's mind is their teeth. However, during pregnancy, good oral health is more important than ever. Read on to find out more about four things to watch out for during your pregnancy to keep your teeth in tip-top shape.
1. Food cravings
Up to 90 percent of women experience food cravings at some stage during their pregnancy, but keeping those cravings at bay is about more than just fending off baby weight. Nearly half of all food cravings experienced by pregnant women are for sweet foods, which can have serious implications for your dental health if sugar is consumed in excess. Try to resist sugary sweets if you can, or replace foods high in sugar with healthier options such as fresh fruit.
If you must consume sugary foods, rinse your mouth out with water immediately after eating, and make sure to keep up your teeth brushing routine.
2. Sensitive teeth
Some women will suffer from sore teeth and gums during their pregnancy. This is chiefly due to the increased blood flow experienced by expectant mothers, which can cause swollen gums. Try to use a soft toothbrush to limit bleeding during brushing and flossing, and avoid any hot or cold foods that you notice increase your pain.
3. Morning sickness
Morning sickness and unpleasant nausea are a fact of life for many pregnant women, but the acid you bring up when vomiting harms more than just your gut. Repeated vomiting can leave a film of stomach acids on your teeth, which is a leading cause of tooth erosion. After vomiting, try to rinse your mouth immediately with water or mouthwash, and chew some gum to help rid your mouth of the acid. Do not brush your teeth for at least an hour after vomiting, as this can damage your tooth enamel.
4. Pregnancy tumours
Your body's hormones are in overdrive during pregnancy, and this changes the way your body responds to bacteria. A build-up of dental plaque, caused by excess bacteria, can lead to growths, or 'pregnancy tumours', appearing on the gums during the second trimester. These are not cancerous but can cause discomfort and may bleed while brushing or flossing.
As these growths are not harmful and often disappear on their own, a dentist will likely wait until your baby is born before removing them. However, if the tumours are causing significant discomfort, your dentist may be able to clean the area surrounding the tumour to clear away the plaque build-up, with the goal of making the growth disappear sooner.
With so much to worry about, it is no surprise that oral health is often the last thing on many expectant mothers' minds. However, by keeping these four pregnancy symptoms in mind, you can work with your dentist to prevent long-term issues from arising.
There are more than two ways to straighten a smile, and in this blog, I plan to discuss them all. I plan to look at the differences between braces and retainers and explain why sometimes you may need them both. I look at the differences in cost, time commitment and efficacy. Personally, I have had a bit of experience with this subject – I had braces as a young teen, and I had a permanent retainer. In this blog, I discuss what I have learned, and I present all kinds of new information on the topic. Whether you are trying to make decisions for yourself or your child. I hope you find this information useful.