Taking excellent care of yourself during pregnancy is vital, but rarely do you think of your teeth or dental health at such an exciting time. However, your teeth are necessary for chewing and tearing the nutritious foods you consume aren’t they? Gingivitis during pregnancy is a serious condition. Did you know that the bacteria of gingivitis can travel into your blood stream? Scary isn’t it? Once the bacteria enter, they are infectiously spreading everywhere they can, and once in your blood stream, they will cross the placenta and reach your precious baby. Gingivitis can cause you two a serious health problem, and can cause heart problems easily.
Schedule a Dental Appointment
So, what can you do to prevent gingivitis during pregnancy? For starters, schedule an appointment with your dentist. The dentist can perform x-rays, a cleaning, and set up appointments for you to come back to correct any problems such as cavities. While you are there, he or she will most likely give you valuable tips and advice for proper cleaning and care of your teeth and gums. Take it to heart and be disciplined about your own dental health. Did you know that your gums bleed easier during pregnancy? It’s true, and can be dangerous. When blood is surfacing on the gums, various bacteria can quickly enter the tissue and then make their way into your bloodstream which progress through your whole body.
Brush Those Teeth
Brush your teeth after each meal, and especially if you indulge in sweet treats frequently. This is probably the one piece of advice you have heard since childhood, thus making it a no-brainer. It only takes sixty seconds of brushing your teeth each time to prevent gingivitis during pregnancy. Sixty seconds at least three times a day will only take three minutes out of your schedule and is not unreasonable. If you have trouble remembering how long a full sixty seconds lasts, try slowly singing the “happy birthday song” two times in your head, look at a clock, watch, or your cell phone. Remember to brush gently in a circular motion and let your brush massage the germs and bacteria away from your gums. It can be hard to get all the way behind your teeth, but when you’re pregnant, it doesn’t take much to make you gag. If you have a very sensitive gag reflex, try placing your tongue against your throat to close it, and breathe through your nose. If you have it, try using a pre-brushing rinse agent and a mouthwash after finishing. These products are excellent at killing bacteria and helping to prevent gingivitis.
Whip Out a Good String of Dental Floss and Get to Work
While you may be doing the right things such as seeing your dentist and brushing properly, you may forget the detail of flossing. Flossing allows you to get between your teeth where plaque and bacteria that cause gingivitis settle. Use gentle up and down motions between each tooth. There is the possibility that your gums may bleed a bit, but it’s even more possible if you don’t floss regularly because your gums aren’t accustomed to having the floss touching them. There are many available types of dental floss you can use during pregnancy, but for many moms, the taste can be a little nauseating. If you can’t stand to use the floss because it has a flavor, like mint, then you can opt for unflavored floss. There’s also the waxed floss and un-waxed. Try buying two different types to see which one suits your needs the best.
Pregnancy can make you hungry for all kinds of different foods and drinks, and that’s okay, but are they healthy? Foods containing high amounts of sugar, aspartame, or seasonings can be terrible on your teeth and gums. Sure, the soda and chocolate cake are tasty, but the sweeteners they contain can eat away the enamel of teeth and can build up between them on your delicate gums. Sugar loves to hang around inside your mouth as long as it can, and that’s why you can still taste the chocolate cake in your mouth three hours after you’ve eaten it. Seasonings like parsley, thyme, and basil, can also be little tyrants. They are notorious for getting in between, and on your teeth. Ever watch someone eat homemade chicken soup and when he begins talking to you there are little green flakes of parsley all over his teeth? Probably so, but that is a sure sign that little particles of food like to hide inside your mouth.
Make the decision to eat all natural fruits and vegetables, drink lots of refreshing, cold water, and opt for unseasoned meats. If you do lose a battle of the will to the less healthy food and drink selections, make sure you brush your teeth as soon as possible to remove the culprits they leave behind.
There’s an old pregnancy myth that states “you lose a tooth with each baby”, and for a lot of moms it’s the sad truth. The logical reasoning behind the myth is likely poor dental care and gingivitis. The oral condition is devastating to your gums, but can easily be avoided with a little time and good hygiene. So, remember to make the dental appointment, brush regularly, floss, and make healthy food selections to aid in the defense against gingivitis during pregnancy. Your gums, and your baby, will thank you.