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Pregnancy and oral health – myths vs reality

Have you heard the old wives’ tale “A lost tooth for every pregnancy”? Many people hear similarly misinformed advice and take it at face value, then don’t attend the dentist during pregnancy. In fact, it’s more important than ever to continue your appointments.  

 We’re here to provide some facts about taking care of your oral health during this exciting time.  

Fact 1 – You’re at a higher risk of gum disease while pregnant 

Due to hormonal changes in the body, your gums may become more sensitive to plaque during pregnancy. This means you are at a higher risk of gum disease such as periodontitis. Keep your oral care routine at tip top levels to help avoid this.   

Fact 2 – You can go to the dentist while you’re pregnant 

In fact, due to the increased risk of gum disease, it’s probably the most important time you should be thinking about booking an appointment. There is nothing stopping you visiting your dentist while pregnant – but do let them know when booking your appointment in case this affects your recommended treatment options. 

Fact 3 – You shouldn’t brush your teeth after morning sickness 

During pregnancy, you should be maintaining your regular oral care routine – brushing, flossing and using mouthwash regularly. However, you should actually avoid brushing your teeth after vomiting caused by morning sickness. 

Acid in your vomit erodes the enamel on your teeth, making it softer and more vulnerable to damage with brushing. Instead, chew some sugar-free gum or rinse with baking soda in water to reduce acidity, then brush an hour or so later when acidity is reduced.  

Fact 4 – Your diet can affect your oral health – and your baby’s

As you’ve no doubt heard and read, a healthy and well-balanced diet is important during pregnancy for both mother and baby, but it’s also important for your teeth. As your gums may be more sensitive to inflammation, it’s advised to reduce sugary food and drink consumption.   

Your baby’s teeth will be developing during your second trimester, which is a good time to include some calcium and phosphorus-rich foods in your diet – such as dairy products, kale, fish and nuts. 

Interested in fertility and maternity issues? We’ve got lots more great articles for you over on our Health Hub blog.