Looking after Your teeth when Pregnant

The health of your teeth is vital in living a healthy lifestyle. The last thing you need are tooth diseases that may affect your gums and eventually lead to loss of teeth. Periodontal disease (gum diseases) are such as:

Gingivitis

  • Characterised by swollen and bleeding gums

Periodontitis

  • An advanced form of gingivitis where the gum can pull from the tooth and there may be bone loss.

Such diseases can affect your nutrition and ultimately the quality of your life. This makes taking care of your gums and teeth are very important.

How to Take Care of Gums and Teeth?

In Kenya, those who live in up country and have no access to toothbrushes use special twigs to brush their teeth. Churches and dental organizations regularly organize dental camps to cater to such areas and provide them with brushes and tooth pastes to properly take care of their teeth. Advice that is usually given to the locals in such camps includes the following:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice Daily- Use  a brush with soft bristles as it is kinder to your gums
  • Brush thoroughly- For at least 2-3 minutes
  • Floss your teeth daily- a piece of string can work here if you don’t have access to dental floss
  • Reduce sugary foods
  • Avoid using your teeth irresponsibly like opening bottle caps with them
  • Use fluoride tooth-paste.

Conditions of Teeth and Gums when Expectant

Gingivitis

  • 30% of expectant women experience a condition called pregnancy Gingivitis. This is because of the rising levels of the hormones oestrogen and progesterone in their bodies. This causes swollen, bleeding and tender gums. The condition normally goes away when the baby is born.

 

  • Visiting your dentist often will help alleviate some of its symptoms. 

 

Morning Sickness

  • Frequent vomiting and acid reflux that marks the first trimester of pregnancy may be detrimental to your teeth. The acidity present can easily erode your teeth’s enamel. Rinsing your mouth with fluoride mouth rinse might, thus, help protect your teeth. If this is not available mix a little baking soda and use.

Periodontitis

This gum disease poses a significant risk to pregnant mothers. Bacteria that usually cause this condition have the potential to infect the foetus and cause preterm labour

Dental Procedures when Pregnant. Are They Safe?

The best time to undergo any dental procedures safely is during the 2nd trimester. This is because at this time the baby has passed the critical stage of organ development and is considered more mature. The discomforts of the third trimester will also not have started, making the 2nd trimester a more ideal time.

Taking care of your teeth before, during and after a pregnancy will in the end be beneficial to you and your baby. 

 

Disclaimers:

Please note that development differs from one child to another. 

Content intended for educational purposes only, and should not be substituted for medical advice from your doctor.

Be careful when using any products mentioned on this website. We hold no regulations for such products or their providers.

Last reviewed March 2019 

 

References

 

Sources: duckduckgo, betterhealth.vic.gov, wekivadental

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