Dental care during pregnancy

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The importance of dental hygiene during pregnancy is often not stressed enough. The fact is, infections that start in the mouth can soon spread to other parts of the body. While this is something you should be mindful of at all times, its importance shoots up during pregnancy. These infections put yours and your baby’s health at risk. It is also advisable to avoid any sort of dental procedures, such as tooth extraction, tooth implant or root canal during the 1st trimester (first 12 weeks) and the second half of the 3rd trimester (last 6 to 8 weeks).

Two common dental problems to watch out for during pregnancy:

Tooth decay and gum disease.

Pregnant women are more likely to suffer from tooth decay for a number of reasons. Increased acidity in the mouth during pregnancy is the primary culprit. Also, increased vomiting caused by morning sickness worsens the situation because it exposes your mouth to more gastric juices. In such cases, it is advisable to rinse your mouth with a spoon of baking soda mixed in a cup of water after you experience morning sickness, this will prevent the acid from attacking your teeth.

The hormonal changes that occur due to pregnancy can make your gums more prone to plaque, which can cause inflammation and bleeding of the gums. This is referred to as “pregnancy gingivitis”. If this is left untreated, it can result in periodontal disease. It can also lead to tissue overgrowth on the gums, known as pregnancy tumours.

Tips to maintain good oral hygiene during pregnancy:

. Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft bristle toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, also replace your toothbrush every 2-3 months.

. Significantly reduce the intake of foods that are high in sugar content. Be conscious of food labels to help you choose low-sugar foods.

. Floss your teeth daily and visit the dentist regularly for a check-up.

. Choose a diet plan rich in calcium, B12 and vitamin C.

These small adaptations in lifestyle will significantly reduce the risk of oral infections and complications.
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