Dental hygiene is essential for people of all ages, but it’s especially important for women to take care of their gums and teeth during the first and second trimesters of pregnancy.
Pregnancy hormones can cause your gums to become more sensitive and more likely to bleed. This can make your gums sore, inflamed, and susceptible to infection, which leads to tooth decay. You’re also more likely to get a build-up of plaque (bacteria) on your teeth.
Good dental hygiene is important for pregnant women, especially during the first and second trimesters. Be sure to brush and floss regularly, and see your dentist or hygienist for advice on the best way to care for your teeth during pregnancy.
If you don’t have a dentist, sign up at a dental clinic or practice early in the first trimester of pregnancy and arrange regular check-ups for the following months. This is an important step to take to ensure that your teeth and gums are healthy throughout your pregnancy.
It’s never an excuse to avoid dental care – especially when it’s free for pregnant women and young children! All you need is a maternity exemption certificate from your doctor, midwife or health visitor in order to take advantage of this great benefit.
If you have a serious gum infection like gingivitis or periodontal disease during your first or second trimester, it may not have a direct impact on your baby’s health. However, it could be an early warning sign that you are unwell or that your diet is lacking in nutrients, which could then affect your baby’s growth and wellbeing.
Pregnancy is an amazing time in a woman’s life, but it can also come with some unexpected changes to your body – including your oral health. Here are some tips for keeping your teeth and gums clean and healthy during pregnancy:
oEven if your gums are bleeding, you should brush your teeth regularly. Use a soft brush if your gums are sore to avoid further irritation.
oPlaque can make your gums more susceptible to bleeding, so it’s important to brush your teeth for two minutes in the morning and at night to remove as much plaque as possible.
oElectric brushes can be more effective than manual brushes at removing plaque and lodged food particles if you follow the directions and use them properly.
oTo remove plaque and food from between your teeth, clean them at least three times a week using floss or mini brushes.
oSee your dentist regularly.
oDental hygiene is important during pregnancy, and it’s recommended that you see a dental hygienist in the first and second trimester to remove any existing stains and plaque buildup.
oDrinking plenty of water throughout the day is important for oral health because it helps remove harmful debris and acid from your mouth. Fluoride, which is commonly found in tap water, is also beneficial for building stronger enamel.
oEat calcium-rich cheese and other dairy products to help keep your teeth healthy and prevent demineralization. Cheese also helps to create an alkaline environment in your mouth which fights the acid that causes tooth decay.
oReduce your sugar intake to help protect your teeth from decay. Bacteria that cause tooth decay love sugar and other simple carbs, so limiting your intake can help reduce your risk for cavities.
oChewing sugar-free gum can help promote the production of saliva and increase the flow of saliva. This washes your teeth and helps to neutralize some of the acid in your mouth.
Debra Aspinall is an experienced journalist and the editor and leading writer for the Emma’s Diary website, one of the UK’s foremost pregnancy and baby websites. She has written extensively on pregnancy symptoms, first trimester pregnancy, second trimester pregnancy and more.