Pregnant women bear the brunt of many things. There are days when they are nauseous and agitated all day. There are also days when they have no idea what is happening to them. This is due to various biochemical processes resulting from their newly modified physiology.
Dental health is now one of them. For one thing, pregnancy can cause hormonal changes. This change affects how their bodies process things, such as how they deal with plaque. For another, pregnancy comes with its own set of demands that can impact a mother's dental health. Lactation, for example, can strain a mother's bones as she strives to provide adequate calcium in her milk.
So, how should pregnant mothers approach their oral health?
The answer is with the utmost care. Some pregnant women might be hesitant to visit the dentist at this time. The majority of this anxiety can be due to concerns for the infant. Thankfully, these worries are unjustified. Pregnant women and their unborn children can typically get dental examinations without risk because trained specialists will handle them.
For a mother's overall health at this point, getting an oral examination is essential. In addition, dentists can search for any early indications of pregnancy-related issues that can arise later during the examination.
Here are some things you can do if you're a pregnant woman who wants to focus on their oral health:
Know Where You’re At Risk
Without a doubt, pregnancy predisposes women to certain health risks. These dangers are frequently unique to each mother. Some women go through their pregnancies without having any of these problems. In any case, understanding the risks can help prevent them from worsening.
Here are some of the most common pregnancy risks:
Increased Risk Of Gingivitis
Your hormones may cause a more inflammatory response to plaque buildup while pregnant than they would before pregnancy. This response frequently results in pregnancy gingivitis.
Worsened Dental Conditions
If you already have poor dental hygiene, chances will worsen during pregnancy. Morning sickness can increase the amount of acid in the mouth, which may lead to the development of cavities or exacerbate pre-existing ones. Additionally, periodontal diseases may worsen if you already have them.
Effects on Baby
In addition to dental emergencies, your infant can suffer from oral health issues. Some studies have shown a correlation between poor dental health and premature delivery.
According to the research, pregnant women who did not obtain proper dental care were 15% more likely to deliver their babies prematurely and suffer the effects of low birth weight. In addition, premature birth exposes infants to many health issues, which have developmental implications.
Lack of Calcium
Your body may lose some bone during lactation to supply calcium for your milk. Due to this breakdown, your teeth may become more vulnerable to dental trauma or decay.
Dry mouth and metallic taste: Dysgeusia is a condition when there is a change in taste when eating. Food frequently has a metallic flavor. Due to the decreased salivary production, you will also have dry mouth. Infections like gingivitis may result from this.
Tooth enamel erosion: Due to the stomach acid released during morning sickness and vomiting, there is a substantial risk of tooth enamel degradation.
Reducing Risk while Pregnant
If you're prone to any of the above mentioned concerns, the first thing is to reduce your risk. Maintaining your oral hygiene routine is the best option. However, it could be simpler stated than done to follow it.
Throughout your pregnancy, you could feel increasingly ill and worn out. Making the necessary changes will make brushing and flossing a little more enjoyable if you are experiencing trouble. These changes could be using a different toothbrush and toothpaste that suits your preferences and brushing more gently.
In addition, speaking with your dentist is always a valuable resource, particularly as you age. During the appointment, your dentist can provide treatment for your current dental problems to prevent flare-ups and recommend a plan of action to support you during your pregnancy. Additionally, periodic dental visits allow your dentist to spot problems with your dental health before they worsen.
Finally, you might want to pay attention to what you consume to avoid deficiencies. Some dietary ingredients are suitable for your dental health while others are not. For example, whereas sweets and candies are unhealthy for your teeth, apples, carrots, and leafy greens are good for them.
While lactating, you may experience some bone density loss, and you are also more likely to assimilate calcium from meals. Eating foods high in calcium should be sufficient to help you recover once your child weans off of the milk.
Inform Your Dentist About Your Pregnancy
You should let your dentist know if you are pregnant. They will make the required modifications, decide whether to take x-rays and be able to put together a dental health plan that is best suited for your requirements and present state of health.
Maintaining Good Oral Health During Pregnancy
By taking precautions to avoid gum disorders, you can reduce the number of visits you make to the dentist. Here are a few simple solutions:
Brush and floss regularly: Plaque can accumulate on your teeth if you neglect to brush them. Therefore it is crucial to be attentive to maintaining your oral health. Cavities can develop when plaques get for an extended period. Use fluoride toothpaste, and when cleaning your teeth, do it correctly. Do not overlook flossing since it can get to areas your toothbrush cannot. Brush and floss your teeth at least twice daily to maintain good oral health.
Rinse with mouthwash: Millions of germs accumulate in your mouth daily. Therefore, rinse them away with an excellent antibacterial mouthwash, and keep your mouth hydrated throughout the day. Whether pregnant or not, having a dry mouth is unsuitable for oral health.
Eat healthy meals: Eat healthy food to keep your teeth healthy. Consume meals abundant in calcium, protein, and vitamins since these can help keep your teeth free from gum disorders. Avoid starchy and sugary food because they are the ones where bacteria grow the fastest.
4 Things Every Breastfeeding Mother Need To Know
Breastfeeding is one of the first decisions a mom makes for her child. As a result, the infant may be much better able to fight off infections and lower their risk of developing SIDS, asthma, obesity, and ear infections.
Because breastfeeding may lessen the risk of breast and ovarian cancer development, this is also advantageous for mothers. However, many people are unaware of the fact that breastfeeding can have an impact on a mother's and her baby's health.
Concerning breastfeeding and oral health, the following information is crucial for mothers to be aware of:
#1 Tell Your Dentist if You're Breastfeeding
Your dentist should know that you are breastfeeding when a dental procedure is necessary. In addition, due to the possibility of entering the baby's system through breastfeeding, several drugs may impact the child.
Mothers can, however, take a few drugs. Therefore, for the dentist to provide you with the proper medication, you must inform them as soon as possible.
#2 Breast Milk Does not Protect Infants from Cavities
Even though breast milk has a higher nutritional value than commercial formula, some of it may have too much sugar added, which can lead to cavities. To begin taking care of a baby's teeth as soon as they are born is, in fact, quite beneficial. Clean the baby's gums daily with a damp, gentle cloth. Start using a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste twice daily as soon as the baby's first tooth erupts.
#3 The Importance of Good Oral Hygiene
The baby's welfare is not the only concern a mother should have. The mother must also prioritize bettering her well-being. Keep in mind that practicing basic dental hygiene is essential to preserving healthy teeth and gums.
It's important to remember that giving your baby a spoon can expose the child to bacteria that cause cavities in the mouth. Moms should be knowledgeable of bruxism as well. This concerns teeth grinding or gnashing that occurs at night due to postpartum stress. Please talk about this with the dentist so they can suggest a personalized mouth guard for you.
#4 Breastfeeding Mothers can Keep Feeding after an Infant’s Teeth Emerge
No set rule dictates when a mother should stop nursing her child. Furthermore, it is healthy to continue to do so after the infant's teeth have come through. However, mothers should prioritize what is best for themselves and their children.
However, if breastfeeding becomes uncomfortable once your baby's teeth appear, you might think about pumping your breast milk and giving it to your baby in a bottle.
New mothers must keep up with regular dental visits for all the reasons mentioned above. In this manner, their dentist may give them the medication, care, and guidance they require to maintain their oral health and the oral health of their child in good condition.