Expecting - but unexpected! Tips for dental care during pregnancy
All mothers will want the best for their babies, and one of the best ways to do this is — surprisingly — to start practising good oral health during pregnancy. Why is this so?
Research has shown that mothers with tooth decay are more likely to pass it on to their babies. Dental-related diseases have also been associated with premature births and low birth weights.
Good oral hygiene
Maintaining excellent oral hygiene during pregnancy is very important. Our dentist recommends:
- Brush thoroughly with a fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss between your teeth daily.
- Maintain a balanced diet and avoid frequent snacking.
- When you have morning sickness, try rinsing your mouth with a teaspoon of baking soda mixed with water.
- Avoid brushing your teeth directly after vomiting as stomach acids can make your teeth “soft “and therefore you risk brushing your tooth enamel away.
Due to changes in hormone levels, expectant mothers are more likely to develop gingivitis, an infection of the gums which causes swelling and bleeding.
Left untreated, advanced gum disease can affect the supporting tissues — leading to receding gums, increased tooth mobility and sensitivity.
To prevent this, have your teeth cleaned regularly by a dentist.
These tumours appear as red swellings, which are overgrowths of tissue that develop on the gums. This happens most frequently during the second trimester.
Although not cancerous or harmful, pregnancy tumours can be prevented with good oral hygiene.
While most of them go away after pregnancy, do consult a dentist as soon as they develop.
Erosion of enamel
For mothers suffering from morning sickness, nausea and vomiting are frequent side effects. Gastric acid from the stomach can cause the enamel on your teeth to erode. This makes the teeth more sensitive and brittle.
To prevent damage to your teeth, avoid brushing for at least 1 hour after vomiting.
Increased risk of tooth decay
Expectant mothers have a higher risk of developing tooth decay. This is due to frequent snacking, increased acidity in the mouth and limited attention paid to oral hygiene.
Left untreated, tooth decay will lead to abscesses and severe oral infections.
Article Contributed By:
Dr Yang Xiao
Thomson Dental Centre
8 Sinaran Drive, #07-08/16-19,
Novena Specialist Center
Tel: 6255 0770
Learn how to deal with teething pain
Come join us at “Thomson Medical Presents: Journeying with Baby” on 22 June 2014, Sunday, at Suntec Convention Halls 401/402. Dr Yang Xiao of Thomson Dental Centre will be sharing on ways to avoid baby’s teething pains and early childhood caries.
For event details and registration of workshops, please visit http://thomsonbaby.com/home.