Dental health may not be uppermost in your mind during pregnancy, but it’s important—both to your health and your unborn child’s.
Research has found a link between poor oral hygiene and premature delivery, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and delayed growth of the baby in the womb.
After your baby is born, your dental health remains important. Poor oral hygiene can result in you passing along cavity-causing oral bacteria to your infant through kissing, cleaning a dropped pacifier in your mouth or sharing a spoon after tasting your baby’s food.
Check out this New York Times video on why dental checkups are so important when you’re expecting.
Good oral hygiene, both during pregnancy and afterward, means:
- Brushing your teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
- Cleaning between your teeth once a day (using floss or another method approved by your dentist)
- Drinking water throughout the day
- Having regular oral exams, teeth cleanings and treatment, including a local anesthetic when needed and x-rays with proper shielding. These are all considered safe during pregnancy, according to the American Dental Association.
Good to Know
If you’re vomiting due to morning sickness or some kind of gastrointestinal illness, keep in mind that vomit contains stomach acids that can weaken your teeth. Don’t brush immediately after vomiting. Instead, rinse your mouth with a cup of water and a teaspoon of baking soda. Then wait about a half hour before brushing.
Talk with your dentist about what you need to do to protect and improve your oral health during pregnancy and beyond.
This message is not intended to provide individual medical advice. Always seek the advice of a physician or qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have about your health or medical condition, your breastfeeding issues and your infant's health. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you have read in our emails, webpages or other electronic communications.
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