Dental Hygiene in Pregnancy

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Dental hygiene is important for everybody at all ages and stages of their lives, but during the first and second trimester of pregnancy it is even more important to look after your gums and teeth.

This is because pregnancy hormones can affect your gums and make them more susceptible to
When this happens the gums become sore and inflamed and prone to infection which leads to tooth decay. You’re also more likely to get a build-up of plaque (bacteria) on your teeth.

In the first trimester of pregnancy and second trimester of pregnancy women should make an effort to clean their teeth more thoroughly and regularly than ever before. Your dentist or dental hygienist can advise on the best way to clean your teeth and the best brushes, pastes and mouthwashes to use.

If you don’t have a dentist, early in the first trimester of pregnancy sign up at a dental clinic or practice and arrange regular check-ups for the following months.

There’s no excuse to avoid a dentist. Dental care is free from the time your pregnancy is confirmed right through to your child’s first birthday. All you need is a maternity exemption certificate from your doctor, midwife or health visitor.

A serious gum infection such as gingivitis or periodontal disease in the first or second trimester may not directly affect your baby’s health, but it could be an early warning that you are ailing in some way, or your diet is deficient, and this could then impact on your baby’s growth and wellbeing.

Follow these tips for keeping your teeth and gums clean during pregnancy:

oEven if your gums bleed, brush your teeth often. Use a soft brush if your gums are sore.

oPlaque can make your gums more prone to bleeding. Remove as much as possible by brushing your teeth for two minutes, morning and night.

oElectric brushes are better at removing plaque and lodged food particles than manual brushes if you follow the directions and use them properly.

oClean between your teeth at least three times a week to remove lodged plaque and food using floss or mini brushes.

oSee your dentist regularly.

oSee a dental hygienist in the first trimester and again in the second trimester to remove stains and hard-to-get-at plaque.

oDrink lots of water to wash out debris and acid from your mouth. The fluoride in tap water helps build stronger enamel.

oEat calcium-rich cheese and other dairy products to help prevent demineralisation (the breakdown of enamel). Cheese also produces an alkaline environment when broken down which fights the acid that causes tooth decay.

oReduce your sugar intake. The bacteria that cause tooth decay thrive on sugar and other simple carbohydrates.

oChewing sugar-free gum can stimulate production of saliva and increase salivary flow washing your teeth and neutralising some of the acid in your mouth.

Author Bio: Debra Aspinall is an experienced journalist and the editor and leading writer for the Emma’s Diary website, one of the UKs foremost pregnancy and baby websites. She writes on pregnancy symptoms, first trimester pregnancy, second trimester pregnancy and etc.


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