Back pain, morning sickness, fatigue, hunger — it’s hard to know exactly what to expect when you’re expecting. Your teeth may seem secondary to other symptoms, but they matter more than you realize. Here’s how to keep your smile glowing throughout your pregnancy:
1. Your hormones aren’t the only things changing.
The same pregnancy hormones causing you to sob during a Sarah McLachlan commercial affect your teeth, too. Increased estrogen and progesterone levels multiply dental plaque. Because of a surplus of the sticky stuff (bacteria), many women are prone to get pregnancy gingivitis. It’s characterized by inflammation of the gums, swelling and tenderness. Plus, studies consistently link periodontal disease to pre-term and low-birth-weight babies.
2. You’re eating (and brushing) for 2.
The “eating for 2” cliché makes it easy to justify eating an entire pint of ice-cream.
You do need to consume more when you’re expecting, but if you’re craving ice cream, indulge in a serving of organic whole milk ice cream for a calcium boost. Just try not to overdo it. Find out why you crave certain things during pregnancy and what you can replace the unhealthy cravings with to get the vitamins you and your baby need. Your baby’s teeth start to grow as early as 3 months into your pregnancy. Make 2 smiles and 2 bodies strong — eat a balanced diet filled with calcium, phosphorous, protein, and vitamins A, C, and D. If you make healthier choices more often, your baby’s kicks will feel more like a high five.
3. You need to have more than an ultrasound.
Add a dentist visit to your new nursery and gender reveal party plans. A dental check-up may not be top of mind, but it’s important to a healthy pregnancy. If you’re expecting, bring your baby-to-be belly to the dentist. A routine cleaning will keep your smile on-track. If you’re due for an X-ray, they are safe up until the second trimester.
Prepare your smile for pregnancy with our other mom-to-be blogs.