Maintaining good oral hygiene for a healthy pregnancy

Congratulations on your pregnancy! It’s an exciting time, but here at The Practice West End we know it can also feel a little overwhelming with so much information you need to digest regarding your health and the health of your baby

We don’t want to add to the overwhelm, but now you’re pregnant we think it’s important to consider your oral health, after all, it can play a vital role in the health of you and your baby throughout your pregnancy.

Pregnancy and oral health

Pregnancy affects many parts of your body, including your teeth and gums. During pregnancy you may experience signs of gum disease such as bleeding gums and tooth sensitivity. Simply referred to as ‘pregnancy gingivitis’, it’s normally temporary, but can worsen over time if it isn’t seen to. 

Morning sickness can also affect the health of your teeth, as the acid in the vomit strips away tooth enamel. Cravings for sweets is common in pregnancy, but these sugary foods can also increase plaque and dental decay. 

Some women also find it difficult to brush their teeth during pregnancy due to retching or gagging. This can be avoided by using a toothbrush with a smaller head, taking your time to brush or switching toothpaste. 

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How can your oral health affect your growing baby? 

Severe gum disease can affect your growing baby as the oral bacteria can enter your bloodstream and pass through to the foetus. In some cases, this can cause premature birth, low birth weight and other complications. 

Signs of gum disease during pregnancy

The first signs of pregnancy gingivitis include sore, swollen gums and bleeding gums. If the gingivitis is left untreated, it can lead to periodontitis, with more serious symptoms such as bone damage and loose teeth. 

Can you visit the dentist when you’re pregnant? 

Yes, you can definitely still visit the dentist when you’re pregnant, and it’s still possible to receive most treatments. When you book your appointment, notify your dentist that you are pregnant. 

How to take care for your oral health during pregnancy

Our experienced dentists at our South Brisbane dental clinic have these great tips on how to take care of your teeth and gums during pregnancy: 

  • Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. 
  • Floss your teeth daily. 
  • Avoid foods high in sugar and acid. 
  • Drink plenty of water. 
  • Rinse out your mouth with water or mouthwash after vomiting. 
  • Attend regular checkups at the dentist. 

Always inform your dentist about your pregnancy, in case procedures or medication have to be modified to avoid harming you or your baby. 

Maintaining good oral health is vital for you and your baby during pregnancy. For more information, speak to our experienced dentists at The Practice, South Brisbane. Call us on 07 3733 3223 or book an appointment online to schedule your next visit. 

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