Spa Dentals top oral health care tips for pregnant mums
It’s an exciting time, you are probably very busy trying to organise everything and may be feeling the effects of morning sickness, a visit to the dentist is probably the last thing on your mind, but for the health of you and your baby you need to get it on your check list quick smart.
Many pregnant women skip dental visits thinking that dental treatment during pregnancy can harm their babies. When in fact this is a very important time to be visiting your dentist to ensure optimal health for both yourself and your baby.
The Australian Dental Association, the Australian Congress of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the Australian Academy of Paediatrics all encourage women to seek dental care while pregnant.
Just like the rest of your body, your teeth, gums and mouth are affected by hormonal changes during pregnancy. You will usually notice changes in the health of your gums as early as the first trimester.
Gum disease and pregnancy
Many women can develop gum disease during pregnancy because of natural hormonal changes in the body. If gum disease becomes severe, the infection can affect an unborn baby’s development. Severe gum disease in an expectant mother can increase the risk of premature birth and of delivering a low birth weight baby. There may be possible long-term health risks for a child born prematurely or of low birth weight.
Signs of gum disease include:
- bleeding gums
- red gums (instead of pink)
- swollen gums
- bad breath
If you suspect you may have gum disease, it is important that you speak to your dentist. Gum disease can be treated and good oral health before, during and after pregnancy is very important for both you and your child.
See below Spa Dentals top five oral healthcare tips for pregnant mums:
1. Know your facts and risks – Good oral health can reduce your risk of having a premature baby. Ask your dentist for further information.
2. Oral hygiene – Brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste for 2 minutes. Floss daily to keep your gums healthy. Remember, if you have good oral health habits, your child will too!?If you experience vomiting, rinse with water and wait an hour before brushing to avoid dental erosion.
3. Good nutrition – What you eat affects your baby’s health. Eat a nutritious diet every day including fruits, vegetables, grains, beans and lean meats. Eat high calcium food instead of acidic food, juices and soft drink. Avoid drinks and any food loaded with sugar as they might lead to decay and affect your baby’s health. Snack on healthy foods like cheese, fruits, vegetables, yoghurt and nuts. Drink lots of water too.
4. Up your calcium intake – Your growing baby’s calcium demands are high so you should increase your own calcium consumption to compensate. Eat calcium-enriched foods such as dairy or soy alternatives.
4. Visit your dentist – Get a dental check-up, it is completely safe to have most dental treatments while you are pregnant. Do not put off your dental visit until after you’ve had the baby.
5. Book your baby’s first dental appointment as soon as you see his/her first teeth erupt. At Spa Dental, we love caring for children and provide a fun environment for learning about lifetime oral hygiene habits.
For further advice, please speak to our team at Spa Dental, we look forward to looking after you and your growing family.
Australian Dental Association
Dental Health Services Victoria