We know the first thought that pops into a woman’s head when she finds out she’s pregnant is not, “I need to call the dentist!” In fact, your teeth are probably the last thing on your mind after discovering the good news.
However, checking in with your dentist as quickly as possible is important! Your body is going through lots of hormonal changes, some of which can impact the health of your teeth. Most notably, as your progesterone levels rise, your teeth become more vulnerable to gingivitis, loose teeth, and decay.
So even though being an expecting mother can be a busy, overwhelming time, we urge you to keep up with your dental hygiene habits and get in touch with your dentist to prevent any complications.
Symptoms of Pregnancy-Related Gingivitis
Pain and bleeding while brushing are just some of the signs you may have developed gingivitis. Keep an eye on anything out of the ordinary including:
- Receding gums
- Swollen gums
- Red gums
- Tender, puffy gums
- Bleeding gums
- Bad breath
Be especially on the lookout around the third trimester when gingivitis risk is at its peak. You may want to schedule an extra checkup and cleaning then so your dentist can examine the health of your gums. They can also get rid of any tartar lingering on your teeth.
And if you’re worried about getting dental X-rays, rest assured that contrary to popular belief, they are perfectly safe to get while pregnant.
4 Healthy Smile Tips for Pregnant Women
Keep Up With Your Dental Hygiene. Brushing twice a day and flossing daily are still the main ways to keep your teeth and gums healthy. If your gums are feeling tender, switch to a soft bristle brush for less irritation. And be sure to not slack on the flossing even when you’re tired or busy. Gingivitis attacks the gums so it’s important to keep them clean and healthy.
Eat Good, Healthy Food. A balanced diet will not just benefit your teeth, but also your whole body and baby. Make sure your diet is varied and you’re not always reaching for junk food. Some things to incorporate:
- Whole grains
- Dairy products (if you’re not lactose intolerant)
Gargle With Sea Salt. This is great for when your gums are feeling sensitive and inflamed. Use 1 teaspoon of sea salt for every cup of warm water and wait for it to dissolve. When you need relief, gargle for about 30 seconds before spitting it out.
Visit Your Dentist. Don’t neglect your regular visits and consider scheduling an extra checkup around your third trimester, when gingivitis is most common.
Remember, it’s best to tell you dentist as soon as possible when you find out the good news. And you can trust they will keep your pregnancy confidential if you’re still waiting to tell all your family and friends.