Pregnant woman with straight brown hair smiling while holding her belly with one arm and a toothbrush in the other.

How to Maintain your Oral Health During Pregnancy

When you’re pregnant, maintaining your oral health is more important than ever. The baby that is growing and developing inside you will strip your body of many of the nutrients you need in order to get what they need. There are many other reasons why your oral health, as well as your overall health, is more at risk during pregnancy, so be sure to take extra care during this time.

Keep Up With Brushing and Flossing

During pregnancy you may not brush and floss as often as you’re used to for a variety of reasons. For one, you’re likely feeling more tired at night and may fall into bed without brushing or flossing your teeth. If you’re experiencing morning sickness you may find that the taste and smell of toothpaste in the morning triggers it, which may lead you to skip brushing. 

The problem with morning sickness is that frequent vomiting causes the stomach acid that comes up to erode your teeth. Which is why brushing is even more important in the morning. Try switching to a milder scented toothpaste or brush with baking soda instead. It’s also a good idea to wash your mouth out with water or brush your teeth if possible after vomiting.

Visit the Dentist on your Normal Schedule While Pregnant

Yes, it is safe to visit the dentist while you’re pregnant. Even so, make sure to tell your dentist and hygienist that you are pregnant. Regular cleanings and routine procedures are perfectly safe to undergo while you are pregnant. It’s ok to go through with any urgent procedures, but elective procedures should be postponed until after you have the baby. 

X-Rays are also safe during pregnancy as long as a proper lead drape is worn. However, if you have any concerns it is fine to forgo routine X-Rays while you are pregnant. They can be postponed until your next visit, so long as the appointment is scheduled for after your baby is born.

Watch Out for Pregnancy Gingivitis

Do your gums bleed when you brush or floss? Hormonal changes during pregnancy lead to an increased risk of periodontal (gum) disease, known as pregnancy gingivitis. If you notice any bleeding or pain in your gums when you haven’t made any changes to your oral habits, call your dentist. You may need some specific periodontic care that can help to treat gingivitis and prevent it from progressing further.

Limit Sugary Consumption and Eat More Calcium-Rich Foods

You already know that sugar is bad for your teeth and during pregnancy your teeth are more susceptible to decay. Do your best to limit sugary snacks and beverages, but when your cravings get the best of you, try and brush your teeth afterwards. 

Increase your intake of calcium-rich foods like dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt). If your system is sensitive to dairy, nut milks and other alternative dairy products often contain just as much calcium. Be sure to take a prenatal vitamin during your pregnancy, not only to ensure that your growing baby has the nutrients they need, but also to replenish the nutrients the baby depletes from your system.

Smile Makers Wants to Help You Maintain Your Oral Health Throughout Your Pregnancy

If you are pregnant, first we want to offer our congratulations! At Smile Makers Comprehensive Dentistry, we want to help you maintain healthy teeth and gums during your pregnancy. Many women experience oral health issues during or after pregnancy, even when they’ve never had a problem before. Taking the above steps to maintain your oral health can help to prevent many dental issues. 

Call (334) 277-5498 today to schedule a visit or request an appointment. Please let us know if you are pregnant when you make your appointment so we can prepare accordingly. We look forward to seeing you during this exciting time!