Taking Care of Yourself as well as your Baby
Oral Health during Pregnancy
During pregnancy your hormones are all over the place. This can have an effect on your mental and physical well being. One thing that can change during pregnancy is your dental health. The hormone change in your body can cause your gums to swell and bleed, so more attention is needed during pregnancy to your oral hygiene routine.
Past research has shown there is a possible link between having a good, healthy mouth during pregnancy leading to a good birth. Therefore there is no excuse not to maintain good oral hygiene, after all healthy you, healthy baby. It is always advised that you see your dentist regularly, even if you are not pregnant.
Due to having tender and bleeding gums your dentist may also suggest regular cleaning appointments, either with himself or a dental hygienist. As more attention is needed to your teeth and gums during pregnancy, you may find that advice is given regarding your oral hygiene routine at home.
It is completely safe to have regular routine dental treatment carried out during pregnancy. Your dentist will discuss any necessary treatment with you but ultimately the choice is yours whether to have treatment or wait until after the birth. Again, the same with dental x-rays. Some dentists prefer not to take x-rays during pregnancy, whereas some are ok with it. Certain treatment do require x-rays but again, your dentist will discuss this with you.
Diet and habits during Pregnancy
As well as looking after your teeth, you need to take care of your diet during pregnancy. Certain habits can have an effect on the development of your baby, such as smoking and drinking alcohol.
Smoking and excessive drinking during pregnancy can lead to an underweight baby. It is important to remember that the adult teeth are already growing in the baby’s jaw, just underneath the baby teeth. An underweight baby is more likely to have poor teeth due to the enamel not being formed correctly during pregnancy.
Your midwife will provide advice for you and your unborn child throughout your whole pregnancy and can help you with any concerns or worries. Ensure you inform your dentist that you are pregnant as soon as possible. He will need to know this, especially if any treatment is planned. You are also entitled to free dental care during your pregnancy and the first year after.