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Baby on the Brain? Prenatal dental advice

Wed Oct. 26th 2016

Many mums-to-be overlook their dental care. And by neglecting your mouth, you could be putting your baby at risk. Getting better dental care during your pregnancy has been proven to reduce premature births and improve the overall health of mums-to-be, with no risk to your baby.

Hormones

Hormones increase your gums' sensitivity to plaque, creating an "over-the-top" reaction that often result in inflammation and bleeding. Mothers with more advanced gum disease may experience problems like premature birth.

Tip 1: pay extra attention to your gum health during your pregnancy, and take diligent care to ensure your teeth and gums stay clean. You can prevent or control gingivitis during your pregnancy by brushing, flossing, and using an alcohol-free mouthwash twice per day.

Vomit

Morning sickness is unpleasant – and it can wreak havoc on your mouth. Vomit is highly acidic, and frequent morning sickness during a pregnancy needs to be managed – otherwise it can increase your risk of developing cavities and erosion.

Tip 2: promptly rinse your mouth with water after each bout of morning sickness in order to remove the acidity.

Tip 3: DON'T brush right after vomiting! This will scrub away acid weakened enamel. You can rub toothpaste on your teeth with your finger, but no toothbrushing for 40-60 minutes after.

Tip 4: Avoid sugary snacks, even if you are craving them- because this will put further stresses on your teeth, increasing your already increased risk of cavities

Tip 5: dairy foods are great as snacks because they help to buffer the acidity (milk, yoghurt, cheeses)

2nd Trimester

It's important that you see your dentist at some point during your pregnancy, to ensure that any issues like tooth decay or gum disease are treated promptly. Proper treatment can ensure that your baby is born healthy and happy. One study, conducted by researchers at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, found that pregnant women who underwent a simple scaling hygiene procedure saw their risk of preterm labour decrease by 34 percent.

Tip 6: schedule your dentist visit for your second trimester – that's when your check-up will pose the lowest risk to your baby and be most comfortable for you.

Myth Busters

Tip 7: Don't forget to schedule a dental appointment after your baby is born to assess for and treat any damage done during the highly susceptible time of pregnancy.

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