The benefits of good dental and general health begin well before your baby is born. Your baby’s teeth start developing between the third and sixth months of pregnancy. Brushing, flossing, and maintaining good oral hygiene is essential for a healthy mouth. You should brush your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste for two minutes twice daily and floss your teeth once a day. This is especially important when you’re pregnant because variable hormone levels may result in increased plaque and bacteria on your teeth and gums.
It is also recommended to help prevent gingivitis, that you get a professional dental cleaning during the second trimester of your pregnancy. Dental care during pregnancy is safe. X-rays can also be taken if necessary, and your dentist will cover you with a leaded apron to minimize exposure to your abdomen. Your dentist will also be certain to utilize anesthetics and medications that can safely be used during pregnancy.
Nutrition is an essential part of a healthy pregnancy. It is important to maintain a well-rounded diet containing adequate vitamins and nutrients that will allow your baby to develop appropriately. While it is normal for a pregnant woman to have the desire to eat more, frequent snacking can increase your risk for cavities. While snacking, choose foods that have lower sugar content and are nutritious for you and your baby. For example, raw fruits and vegetables, yogurt, or cheese are excellent choices for snacks. If you are dealing with frequent nausea, try eating smaller portions of healthy foods throughout the day. If you have morning sickness and are frequently vomiting, try rinsing your mouth with a teaspoon of baking soda mixed with water instead of brushing your teeth after every time you vomit. When stomach acids frequently come into contact with your teeth, it can eventually cause tooth enamel to wear away. Lastly, be sure to drink plenty of water to keep yourself adequately hydrated.