Keep Your Mouth Healthy During Pregnancy
When you're pregnant, you're eating for two but you're also brushing for two. When you take care of your teeth and gums, it can potentially make a difference for your baby, both before and after birth.
Being pregnant can be hard on your teeth and gums. If you have morning sickness, it can be difficult to brush and floss, and if you're vomiting, the acid can harm your enamel. Eating more often can increase your risk of tooth decay, especially if you choose surgary snacks. And hormone changes may lead to an increased risk of gingivitis, a gum disease caused by plaque (a deposit of saliva and germs that collect and harden on the tooth along the gum line).
Gum disease has been associated with pregnancy complications. During pregnancy, it's recommended that you take good care of your teeth and gums.1
Even after you give birth, the health of your mouth affects the health of your baby. If you have gum disease or tooth decay, germs from your mouth can be passed to your baby by kissing or sharing a spoon.2 Those germs can later cause decay in your baby's teeth.
Dental care during pregnancy
- Brush your teeth at least twice daily using fluoride toothpaste
- Floss at least once a day
- Rinse daily with a fluoride mouthwash
- Choose healthy foods like fruits and vegetables, and limit sugary or starchy snacks and beverages
- Visit your dentist at least once during your pregnancy. He or she can clean your teeth and help you control any tooth decay or gum disease. A dental visit is safe any time during your pregnancy.
By taking good care of your mouth while you're pregnant, you're giving your baby a great start on a lifetime of excellent oral health.
- American Dental Association, "Baby Bottle Tooth Decay" (http://www.ada.org/3109.aspx)