How should you be keeping your teeth healthy while pregnant?
Women may not lose a tooth for every child they have, but their teeth are at risk during pregnancy.
There’s an old Wives’ Tale that says for every child a woman bears, she loses a tooth. Well, that is obviously not true, most women who have had children, still have all their teeth. However, studies have shown pregnancy does raise the risk of gingivitis. The cause of this has yet been determined, although, researchers have hypothesized it may come from cravings, gum problems, vomiting and gagging while brushing teeth.
It’s important to remember to brush twice a day, floss and see your dentist regularly. Pregnant or not, those tasks are essential to maintaining healthy teeth. Here are some additional tips to help keep your teeth healthy while pregnant.
Here are 4 tips to keeping your teeth healthy during pregnancy:
- Increasing your calcium and vitamin D intake
- Telling your dentist right away about any gum problems
- Avoid brushing your teeth after vomiting and wait at least an hour
- Using a smaller head on your toothbrush
Increasing your calcium and vitamin D intake
Most women if not all experience food cravings. Usually, these cravings are sugary snacks and can increase the risk of tooth decay. Rather than giving into that sugar craving, try increasing your calcium and vitamin D intake. This will help protect your bone mass along with meeting those nutritional needs for your developing baby. A few foods rich in calcium would include milk, cheese, and yogurt. A few foods rich in vitamin D would include fish, eggs, margarine and cheese.
Telling your dentist right away about any gum problems
Gum problems can occur during pregnancy because of increased hormone levels. Telling your dentist right away about any gum problems can help prevent it from getting worse. Also, changing to a toothbrush with softer bristles and using a fluoridated toothpaste can help with gum problems.
Avoid brushing your teeth after vomiting and wait at least an hour
Vomiting can coat teeth with strong stomach acids and damage tooth enamel. A suggestion would be to avoid brushing your teeth after vomiting and wait at least an hour, rinsing with tap water and then rinsing with fluoridated mouthwash.
Using a smaller head on your toothbrush
Some pregnant women find brushing their teeth a difficult task because they gag while doing so, however, it’s vital to keep brushing. To help with the gagging while brushing try using a smaller head on your toothbrush, such as a toddler toothbrush. Another suggestion would be to try a new toothpaste. Sometimes the taste can provoke gagging, trying a new flavor may help.
Keeping these helpful facts and tips in mind can help keep your teeth strong and healthy during pregnancy. Make sure to contact your dentist if you have any questions or concerns.