Dental Health Tips When Pregnant

pregnancy dental care

Did you know that women go through a variety of dental changes during their pregnancy? Not only that, but they have a whole new set of health aspects to consider. It’s important to keep up with these changes to your teeth and overall mouth health. That’s why we’ve gone ahead and compiled a list of helpful tips to take care of your teeth during pregnancy.

First, however, let’s start with some basics.

Why Is Dental Care Important?

Good dental care is important not just to your physical health but to your comfort as well. Dental decay and gum disease can lead to pain and discomfort, and prevent you from eating well. In rare cases, bacteria from your mouth can also spread to other parts of the body, causing infections such as pneumonia or endocarditis.

Dental Care During Pregnancy

Although dental care is important to any given person, it is even more so during pregnancy. Your body needs more nutrition during a pregnancy than it normally does, so tooth pain is not ideal. Additionally, you’re probably trying to stay as healthy as possible, so you don’t want to increase your risk of developing an infection.

Unfortunately, women can be a bit more susceptive to dental problems during pregnancy. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), many pregnant women are prone to “pregnancy gingivitis.” Changing hormone levels and different eating habits are both large contributors to this.

The best way to combat these changes is by having good dental care habits and visiting your dentist regularly.

Dental Health Tips

Below, we’ve compiled a list of some helpful dental health tips. Keep reading to learn more.

Brush Your Teeth Regularly.

As per usual, brushing twice a day is the cornerstone of good dental care. You may especially want to brush after consuming food or sugary drinks.

Pregnant women can also experience morning sickness and vomit occasionally. Although it may seem counter-intuitive, try to resist the temptation to brush your teeth immediately after. This can cause damage to your enamel. Instead, talk to your dentist ahead of time in regards to the best course of action in these situations. It’s likely that they may recommend some type of mouth rinse.

Don’t Forget The Floss!

Food particles and plaque love to cram themselves into the small crevices in between our teeth. Unfortunately, a toothbrush does not always do the best job of removing these particles. That’s where flossing comes in. Flossing can help remove some of that plaque and reduce your chances of developing cavities or gum disease. 

Ask If You’re Using The Right Dental Products.

dental care products

Many of us may not be aware of this, but not all toothbrushes and toothpastes are the same. For example, an electric toothbrush may be able to clear away more plaque than a regular hand-held one.

As for toothpaste, there are quite a lot of options out there. Some patients may also benefit from a toothpaste that targets a specific need. For example, some expecting moms might benefit from fluoride toothpaste. The best way to know for sure is to ask your dentist. They’ll be able to recommend a good toothbrush and toothpaste for your specific case.

Don’t Miss Your Dental Check-Ups.

As we mentioned before, pregnant women are particularly prone to developing gingivitis and cavities. Due to this, it’s all the more important to go to the dentist regularly during pregnancy. At a check-up, your dentist is able to do a thorough teeth cleaning for you and assess any possible dental problems.

These visits also provide the perfect opportunity to ask your dentist any questions you may have.

Limit Sugar Intake.

You’ve probably heard this before, but sugar definitely isn’t your teeth’s best friend. This is largely due to the fact that sugars increase your chances of developing tooth decay and, with it, worse oral conditions such as gum disease.

The general process of tooth decay is that bacteria feed off of the sugars stuck to your teeth, creating a harmful acid. This acid then wears down your enamel, burrowing down into the tooth and creating a cavity (tooth decay).

The best way to avoid cavities is by limiting your sugar intake and brushing your teeth after you eat.

Keep An Eye Out For Hidden Sugars.

Do keep in mind, however, that not all sugar comes in the form of table sugar. In fact, many sugars are hidden in fairly unassuming foods. Liquids can be one of the most common culprits of this. Soda, juices, and even milk can all contain a lot of sugar. Instead, try to stick to water or other low-calorie drinks.

Eat Plenty Of Nutritious Foods.

As you probably already know, babies in the womb get most of their nutrients through their mom. This is why it’s so very important for expecting moms to get plenty of nutrients from their diet. This includes things such as protein, calcium, vitamins, and various minerals. To get plenty of these, pregnant women can eat things like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, dairy products, and other wholesome foods.

Always talk to your doctor about your diet, and don’t be afraid to ask questions about what you should be eating.

Don’t Skip Out On Your Prenatal Vitamins.

Although this isn’t technically a dental tip, we do want to note this as well. As we mentioned earlier, nutrition is important to your overall health, as well as your baby’s. Moreover, what you eat can affect not only your physical health but your dental health as well. So if your doctor has prescribed medications or prenatal vitamins for you, make sure to take those on time. Setting a reminder on your phone or using a marked pill organizer can help too.

Last Notes

We hope that this article has helped you learn more about dental care during pregnancy. Just in case, however, here are a few last things we want to mention.

Sensitive Teeth During Pregnancy

Are you experiencing discomfort when brushing or drinking hot or cold liquids? Don’t worry; you’re not alone. It’s very common for women to complain of sensitive teeth during their pregnancy. This sensitivity can be caused by a lot of things, including hormonal fluctuations, gingivitis, increased blood flow, and acidity caused by vomiting.

Talk to your dentist if you’re experiencing tooth sensitivity. They may recommend a toothbrush with softer bristles or a different toothpaste than what you normally use. Also, try to avoid foods and drinks that hurt your teeth. Remember that very acidic, hot, or cold foods can be triggers for tooth sensitivity.

Can You Get Dental Work Done While Pregnant?

dental appointment

A lot of dental procedures can be done while pregnant. More importantly, however, certain procedures, such as cavity fillings, need to be done in order to prevent further tooth decay and/or infection. It is particularly important to catch and treat dental problems as early on as possible when pregnant. Keep in mind that toothaches and other dental problems can impact the way you eat and prevent you from getting all of the nutrients that you need.

Dentist In Tennessee

Interested in learning more about good dental care habits? Check out some of the other articles featured on our website. We cover a variety of topics spanning pediatric dental care, adult dental care, braces, wisdom teeth, healthy eating, and much more.

If you have a specific concern or simply need a check-up, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment at one of our offices. Whether you’re looking for dental care for yourself, your children, or even the whole family, Snodgrass-King Dental is here to help. We offer both pediatric and adult dental care, including services such as fillings, bridges, crowns, and even teeth whitening.

We have locations all across Middle Tennessee, including Franklin, Spring Hill, Murfreesboro, and Mt. Juliet, TN. For those that are visiting us for the first time, we even offer new-patient specials. Just call to ask about our current deals before booking your appointment. Our staff is always happy to lend a hand or answer any questions you may have.

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