Oral care during pregnancy is crucial, as this is for the benefit of both the mother and the baby. Not many people know that the baby starts its teeth development as early as six weeks into the pregnancy, and whatever the mom eats and how she takes care of her overall health, including her dental health, can affect the baby’s teeth development as well.
Pregnancy can change a woman’s body chemistry in so many ways that sometimes, dental problems can emerge because the body is more sensitive and less resistant to bacteria, cavities, plaque development, and other types of inconveniences. If the mother is careless about oral care, the worst-case scenario is that bacteria can transfer to the baby, who will then be at the risk of experiencing dental problems when he is born. Aside from this, the mother can grow to experience dental issues that may complicate the pregnancy.
So what can steps can a pregnant mom take to make sure that her teeth and mouth are in the best conditions?
- Make sure to have a dental check-up during the first three months of the pregnancy. A dentist will be able to assess the conditions of the teeth and provide preventive measures. If there are dental procedures needed to be done, it’s still safe to do this during the first trimester, without having to cause unnecessary stress on the mother and the baby. If other procedures have to be applied, this can be done after the baby is born. Otherwise, if everything is in order, the dentist can perform a cleaning.
- Keep a stringent oral routine. Because pregnancy makes a woman more prone to tooth decay, brushing, flossing, and using mouth rinses are not to be skipped. Use toothpaste that contains fluoride so that the teeth are stronger and more resistant to decay development. If the mom has the budget, go for tooth cleaning with the dentist every trimester, or also include getting fluoride treatments.
- Eat fiber, fatty foods, and calcium-rich foods. Have a well-balanced diet, as a pregnant woman will need all the nutrients she can get. The baby also needs these nutrients so that hypoplasia is avoided. This is a condition where the baby develops very soft tooth enamel.
- For any problems and discomfort with the teeth, the mom has to visit the dentist immediately so that the condition is addressed. Don’t self-medicate to relieve yourself of the pain, as there are medicines that could harm the baby. Dentists are aware that X-rays are harmful for pregnant women, but just in case this is needed for emergency procedures, there are ways to do this carefully. Make sure to discuss dental treatment options with your dentist thoroughly.
Medical studies have shown that pregnant women with dental problems are more likely to have preterm birth, so this is another reason why taking care of your teeth is crucial when you’re having a baby.
Many people take their dental health for granted, thinking that it is not as important as the health of internal organs.