Taking care of your teeth
Now that you're over the hurdles of morning sickness, it's time to give your teeth some attention.
Gum disease can increase the risk of prematurity or low-birth weight babies when chemicals of inflammation are released into the blood stream and passed on to the baby.
A calcium-rich diet, good dental care and a visit to the dentist ensures sparkling, healthy teeth and a broad smile during and after your pregnancy.
Some symptoms of pregnancy such as a dry mouth or excessive salivating, indigestion and reflux, painful, swollen and sometimes bleeding gums can interfere with normal daily brushing and flossing routines. This increases the risk of infections and halitosis.
What you can do
- The dentist is one healthcare professional who’s rather neglected. It’s worth your while to visit your dentist atleast once for a check-up, a good clean and floss and fluoride treatment.
- Brush your teeth with a softer toothbrush (or invest in an electrical rotating brush) and floss at least twice a day.
- Use mouthwash.
- Chew dental gum.
- Avoid nuts and seeds that can get stuck in your teeth.
- Don’t bite ice or boiled sweets.
- Make sure your diet and supplements make up no more than 1200mg of calcium daily.
- Eat fresh fruit and vegetables (unpeeled whenever possible) at least twice daily.
- Cut down on fizzy sugar drinks and the amount of sugar in tea and coffee.
- Drink water instead.
What can go wrong?
Apart from dental problems, higher levels of oestrogen increase the blood flow to the gums, making them look red and swollen. This is called epulis and besides being painful with bleeding gums, the swelling can partly cover the tooth and this can put a damper on your smile.
Epulis also makes brushing and flossing painful, so you may be inclined to neglect proper circular brushing that should last for two minutes. If an infection sets in, this can become gingivitis, which is very painful and may need an antibiotic.
Neglected teeth also become inflamed with plaque that can break down the protective enamel layer and increases the risk fortooth deterioration.