“A good diet my dear, that’s the key, “Don’t stress!” “Exercise!”
Oh, the advice when you are pregnant is never ending! But nobody really speaks about the effect of oral hygiene during pregnancy. With all the mayhem of morning sickness, sleeplessness, and inability to eat, who has the time for oral hygiene? You should. Studies show that the oral hygiene of pregnant women has an impact on the pregnancy and the health of the baby.
Women go through major hormonal changes during pregnancy, one downside of which is that they are prone to collect a lot of plaque on their teeth. During pregnancy, your gums tend to react differently towards plaque. The plaque that is collected, if not cleaned regularly, can cause swelling of gums and cause “pregnancy gingivitis.” This can lead to many complications for pregnant women, which can, in turn, pose a threat to the child
The harmful bacteria caused due to bad oral hygiene in pregnant women can be transferred to the unborn child. It could lead to complications like premature delivery and preeclampsia. It could also cause infections in the child that can lead to birth defects.
Apart from this, other effects of pregnancy may pose a risk to oral health. For example, most pregnant women experience morning sickness and spend a great deal of time throwing up. The stomach acid in vomit can erode teeth enamel. And the cravings! Victoria Beckham craved salmon, but I doubt most of us would be hit with such a healthy craving. If it were me, I think I would crave for a big gooey sticky chocolate brownie. But, naturally, that much sugar just invites tooth decay.
With all these issues, oral hygiene during pregnancy isn’t an option. Here is a list of things that dentists suggest a pregnant woman should do to take care of her oral health:
- Use fluoride toothpaste to brush at least twice a day.
- Floss gently at least once a day.
- Don’t brush as soon as you puke. Instead, rinse your mouth with water mixed with a teaspoon of baking soda.
- Eat those veggies. Avoid carbonated beverages and choose fruit over fruit juices. Avoid sugary stuff.
- Visit your dentist regularly.
If these simple things could minimize the risk of harm to your baby, why take a chance?