Pregnancy Tips for Dental Health
Back pain, morning sickness, fatigue, hunger — it's hard to know exactly what to expect when you're expecting. Your teeth may seem secondary to other symptoms, but they matter more than you realize. Here's how to keep your smile glowing throughout your pregnancy:
Your hormones aren't the only things changing.
The same pregnancy hormones causing you to sob during a Sarah McLachlan commercial affect your teeth, too. Increased estrogen and progesterone levels multiply dental plaque. Because of a surplus of the sticky stuff (bacteria), many women are prone to get pregnancy gingivitis. It's characterized by inflammation of the gums, swelling and tenderness. Plus, studies consistently link periodontal disease to pre-term and low-birth-weight babies.
You're eating (and brushing) for 2.
The “eating for two” cliché makes it easy to justify eating an entire ice-cream pint (it's the only size you need, right?).
You do need to consume more when you're expecting, but you aren't justified in eating the whole pint. Did you know, your baby's teeth start to grow as early as three months into pregnancy.
Make two smiles and two bodies strong — eat a balanced diet filled with calcium, phosphorous, protein, and vitamins A, C, and D. Eat healthy and your baby's kicks will feel more like a high five.
- Eat a variety of healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grain
- Eat fewer foods high in sugar, including candy, cookies, cake, and dried fruit
- Read food labels so you can choose foods lower in sugar
- If you have trouble with nausea, try eating small amounts of healthy foods throughout the day
- Drink water throughout the day, especially between meals and snacks.
You need to have more than an ultrasound.
Add a dentist visit to your new nursery and gender reveal party plans. A dental check-up may not be top of mind, but it's a key to a healthy pregnancy. If you're newly expecting, bring your baby-to-be belly to the dentist. A routine cleaning will keep your smile on-track. If you're due for an x-ray, make sure to consult your doctor and dentist to make sure it is safe.
Prepare your smile for pregnancy with our other mom-to-be blogs.
*Updated October 2020*