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 are 3 common pregnancy and teeth FAQ’s answered:
1. Why do my gums and teeth hurt during pregnancy?
Your hormones aren’t the only thing 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 bacteria, many women are prone to get pregnancy gingivitis – inflammation of the gums, swelling and tenderness. Plus, studies consistently link periodontal disease to pre-term and low-birth-weight babies.
2. Do I need to have a teeth cleaning during pregnancy?
You need to have more than an ultrasound.
Busy planning your gender reveal party and decorating the nursery? Add a dental visit to your list of to-do’s. It may not be top of mind, but it’s important for a healthy pregnancy. If you’re newly expecting, bring your baby-to-be belly to the dentist. A routine cleaning will keep your smile on-track.
3. How much should I be eating during pregnancy?
You’re eating (and brushing) for two.
The “eating for two” cliché makes it easy to justify eating an entire pint of ice cream. You do need to consume more when you’re expecting, but probably not the whole pint. Some healthier options that will give you and baby the calcium you need include yogurt, cheese and whole milk.
Your baby’s teeth start to grow as early as 3 months into pregnancy. Make two smiles and two bodies strong — eat a balanced diet filled with calcium, phosphorous, protein and vitamins A, C and D. Eat healthy and your baby’s kicks will feel more like a high five.
Prepare your smile for pregnancy now so you can put your focus back on that new nursery.