Pregnancy, Dental Care, and Your Vision | Changes to Anticipate During Pregnancy
Pregnancy can be a lot to handle. Preparation for a new baby can mean a lot of stress from setting up a nursery, shopping for the necessities and extra doctor’s appointments. However, it’s just as important during this busy time in your life to take care of yourself as a soon-to-be new mom. While no two pregnancies are the same, visiting your dentist and eye doctor regularly during your pregnancy can help you track any change of your own health during this time. Pregnancy can affect your vision and oral health, so it’s even more important to check in on these aspects of your health as these changes can affect your baby’s health. Some oral health conditions can even impact a baby’s birth weight or oral health.
Dental Health and Pregnancy
Visiting the dentist for a regular visit while pregnant is important and there is no risk in doing so. However, if you are needing more serious dental work during your pregnancy, you should discuss a plan of action with your dentist and doctor.
During pregnancy, your body experiences many changes. Hormonal changes during pregnancy may leave you tired and moody, but it can also impact your oral health. For example, the cravings you experience during pregnancy may lead you to eat more sugary snacks. These sweets leave your teeth more vulnerable to tooth decay. Choosing healthier snacks like fruits and veggies to manage your cravings is better for your oral and overall health.
If you experience morning sickness, you are exposed to more acid which can eat away the enamel protecting our teeth. Rinse your mouth with water afterward to help wash away the acid and keep it from causing any problems with your teeth.
Additionally, any change you experience as a result from hormones may increase blood flow to your gum tissue. This increased blood flow may cause sensitivity, bleeding, or swollen gums, and is called ‘pregnancy gingivitis.’ Because of this, it is even more important to maintain good oral health habits. Discuss any increased sensitivity or bleeding while brushing with your dentist to determine the best dental health care routine for you.
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Vision Health and Pregnancy
Hormonal changes can also impact vision health. Any changes in vision should be discussed with your eye doctor. Some changes may require an update to your prescription while others can be delayed until after pregnancy. Blurred vision and headaches may be a sign of high blood pressure, so any sign of this combination of symptoms should be reported to your doctor.
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A Happy and Healthy Pregnancy
Ultimately, maintaining a healthy pregnancy requires maintaining healthy routines while pregnant which includes taking care of your dental, vision and overall health. Pregnant moms may consider following these tips from the American Pregnancy Association and the American Dental Association for the best ways to stay healthy during pregnancy.
- Get plenty of rest, exercise, and water every day. Be sure to eat a balanced diet not only during pregnancy, but also during your time as a new mom.
- Brush and floss as usual during pregnancy.
- After adjusting to the news of your new baby, give your dentist and your eye doctor a call to let them know. At this time, your dentist and eye doctor will likely recommend you to schedule preventive exams and other routine care appointments.
- Healthy circulation is important while you sit in the chair at your dentist or eye doctor’s office. Maintain good circulation by keeping your legs uncrossed.
- Bring a pillow along to help keep you and baby more comfortable during your appointment!
- Lower stress during these appointments by bringing along headphones to play your favorite music to relax you and baby.
Pregnancy means an exciting new beginning and even after baby arrives, taking care of yourself is incredibly important during this new, exciting journey. Don’t let baby preparation overshadow the need for you to maintain your dental, vision, and overall health. Being a healthy mom can allow you to better adjust to life with your new bundle of joy.