Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Preterm Pregnancy and Dental Health

As many of you may already know, your teeth can suffer during pregnancy.  To what extent and to all the reasons why, we don't know.  But what we do know is that they suffer.  And because of this, pregnant women are doing their bodies and their growing babies a favor by taking the best possible care during pregnancy.

After speaking with my dentist yesterday after a routine cleaning and exam, I decided posting something about good oral hygiene during pregnancy as this would be a great reminder to many of you pregnant or planning to become pregnant to be as careful with their teeth during pregnancy as they are with the rest of their bodies.

And here is why:
  • When you are pregnant, you tend to eat more (because you should, you are growing another being inside you).  As you eat, the pH levels in your mouth drop (increased salidity).  During this period, bad bacteria in your mouth are able to grow quicker...leading to increase risks of (or aggravation of preexisting) cavities, gingivitis, gum disease, etc.
  • increased hormone levels may cause increase levels of bad bacterial growth in your mouth
  • gum disease can not only be a risk to you but can also be a risk to your unborn child (click here for more information)
So what are a few things we can do to prevent any of the above from happening?
  • visit your dentist for a dental cleaning and check up
  • rinse with 1 ts. baking soda and 8 ounces of water regularly to increase pH levels to a good state...this creates an inhospitable environment in your mouth for the bad bacteria
  • don't use regular mouthwash with alcohol as an ingredient (this also kills the good bacteria in your mouth)
  • floss and brush regularly
  • maintain a healthy diet and drink plenty of water
I was happy to leave my dentist yesterday with a clean bill of dental health.  Thank you to the greatest dentist for better explaining to me the importance of good dental health during pregnancy!

~Curious Mommy

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