When I was a teenager, I thought that puberty was the craziest time of any person’s life. All of those strange hormones, weird emotions I’d never felt before, dramatic changes to my height, weight, voice and other physical qualities; it all felt totally wild! Now that I have a better understanding of pregnancy, I realize that many women go through something that’s in many ways a lot more drastic than puberty, in a much shorter period of time! Pregnancy affects every part of your life, and your oral health is no exception, so I’m glad you’re here reading about the topic.
Are you brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day? If you are, great! Keep on keeping on, because your oral health affects your overall health, and your overall health affects your baby’s health. If you’re not, this is a great time to pick up good habits, as taking care of your mouth means taking care of your health. Children pick up on their parents habits, too, so getting into the groove is setting your child up for success down the line!
You may find that as you brush and clean your teeth, there’s some irritation. Your gums might be more prone to bleeding than they were before, and they might be more sensitive in general. This could be caused by a combination of factors, including changes to your diet and hormones. You might also have a pretty sensitive gag reflex; nausea and other gastrointestinal discomfort is pretty common during pregnancy. When experiencing discomfort during brushing, don’t hesitate to take it slow and experiment. Try different toothbrushes with smaller heads or different toothpastes with a less pronounced mint flavour. You can also brush some of your teeth, stop, swish and spit, then get back to it.
Morning sickness is another common facet of pregnancy. There’s a lot of different ways of dealing with it, but when it comes to your dental health, the most important thing to keep in mind is that vomit carries with it a lot of acidity that can damage your tooth enamel. Our instinct after vomiting is to get the taste out of our mouths, and brushing your teeth might seem like a good way of doing that; it isn’t. Wash your mouth out with water and wait at least 30 minutes before brushing, because the action of brushing can force the acid deeper into your teeth.
You can still visit your dentist during pregnancy; in fact, doing so more regularly is a good way to make sure your teeth are still in tip top shape during all of these changes! Not only can your dentist check on your overall health, some mild procedures like cavity fillings are still safe during pregnancy! There are some procedures that shouldn’t be done, like whitenings, and if you expect a change in your oral health regime, it’s always a good idea to consult with your dentist. Your Winnipeg dental office will be able to consult with you about all your pregnancy related oral health questions, so don’t hesitate to call!