This is a parntered post.
One of my worst memories from being pregnant with my little boy is sitting in the Dentist’s chair; having a tooth extraction. So it’ll come as no surprise to readers that looking after your teeth in pregnancy is actually something I am pretty keen on encouraging in others…
We are often very focused on making sure that baby is getting enough when we are pregnant, and that means we can focus a lot on our diet, and the nutrients that we need to grow a strong, healthy little one. Sometimes, that means that we can forget about us. And how important it is to make sure that WE are looking after ourselves.
Our teeth are all too easy to ignore when we are pregnant – just because we have so much else to be thinking about!
Why is it important to look after your teeth in pregnancy?
Obviously, having healthy teeth is actually important ALL the time, but did you know:
- Pregnancy hormones can affect how your body deals with plaque,
- Pregnancy has been shown to lead to tooth problems in some women – as many as 70% according to a recent study (see below).
Though obviously it does not automatically lead to poor dental health for women.
There are clearly reasons for paying attention to those teeth while you are pregnant, so what can you do to help?
What can you do to keep your teeth healthy in pregnancy?
Obviously – brush them! However, it isn’t as simple as that, so here are a few thoughts for you so you can keep your teeth and gums healthy while pregnant:
1. Eat a balanced diet
Clearly, it is always important to eat a balanced diet, but never more so when you are trying to provide suitable nutrients for your growing little one.
It is important to try and make sure that you are getting enough from all the major food groups; so fruits, vegetables, and starchy foods as well.
As always, it is tempting to eat sugary foods, but remember that these in particular have an impact on the health on your gums.
2. Floss daily
And I don’t mean this obviously…!
We mean this…
We know. Flossing is annoying and totally boring, but it IS important to get those annoying bits of food out of your teeth.
And bet you didn’t know that dentists advise that you do it BEFORE brushing your teeth? Bet you all thought that you knew how you were meant to do this brushing your teeth, flossing , malarky, didn’t you?
Yeah. I know. You’ve been doing it wrong all this time. 😱
3. Add mouthwash to your daily routine
Using a mouthwash is a great way of adding a little something extra for keeping your teeth stay healthy when you are pregnant, and there are plenty of options on the market.
Do make sure that the one you choose is safe to use when pregnant though, such as a brand like Gengigel. This brand really is simple to use, and helpful for adding an additional layer of defence again plaque.
Take the advice from the NHS though, and make sure that you use it as part of your daily routine, but at a different time to brushing, so that you keep the fluoride from brushing ON your teeth rather than immediately washing it off.
So that’s TWO things you thought you were doing right in your teeth routine, and might need a little review 😉
Am I right?
4. Keep a closer eye on your gum health
We’ve talked a lot about your teeth, but it is certainly worth paying a little more attention to your gums too.
If you do spot problems with your gums, we all like to ignore it don’t we, but perhaps it’s worth thinking again. Why not try and get a treatment for them over the counter?
No-one likes a bleeding gum now do they. Messy.
5. Use the free dental care and visit your dentist regularly. Consider a professional clean too
If you are in the UK, the NHS offer free dental care while you are pregnant – take advantage of it. Pop down and get yourself checked out, so that if there is a problem, it gets spotted sooner rather than later.
You could even have a bit of a treat and get a professional clean too.
Yes – it might mean you have to have a little bit of work done on your teeth in pregnancy but:
(a) At least it will be cheap and,
(b) At least you won’t be leaving it so long that its too late and you will need MORE work doing.
That’s got to the worth a little discomfort, don’t you think?
That’s five GREAT ideas so that you won’t be one of the sets of statistics – or end up like me in the dentist’s chair while you are pregnant, feeling a little fed up. ☹️
Hopefully that’ll help – we do have a few resources relevant to pregnancy alongside this so why not check them out too?
We hope this is a useful article and has helped you – do sign up for more… If you need a little more help around dental health in pregnancy, do check out this article from Sunshine and Rain too. She has some additional ideas for you as well.
Cheers for coming!