Pregnancy is a special time to take extra care of your teeth and gums. During pregnancy your hormonal balance is altered and your gums become more susceptible to disease.BEFORE YOU BECOME PREGNANT
:It is important to establish good oral hygiene practices now so that when you become pregnant you will have already established a daily routine. Dental plaque(bacteria) needs to be cleaned from the teeth and gumline by brushing and flossing everyday. Brush twice a day with a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Use dental floss daily to clean between your teeth where the toothbrush cannot reach. You can check how well you remove plaque by using special plaque disclosing tablets or solution. These are available from the chemist.VISIT YOUR DENTIST
:It may be more comfortable for you to complete any dental treatment required before pregnancy especially as you may experience nausea and vomitting or become tired as your pregnancy progresses.NOW THAT YOU ARE PREGNANT:MORNING SICKNESS
: (nausea and vomitting) may be experienced during the first term of your pregnancy. The stomach contents are acidic and may dissolve some of the tooth enamel. To avoid tooth damage after vomiting or gastric reflux dont brush your teeth if you have just vomitted. Instead wipe a smear of fluoride toothpaste over the teeth and rinse with water.GAGGING
: Can aften occur while brushing your teeth.If this makes you feel sick, try to concentrate on your breathing as you clean the back teeth. Brushing without toothpaste can also help but return to using fluoride toothpaste as soon as possible.CRAVINGS
: You may experience cravings for certain foods. Frequent snacks and drinks especially sweet ones can lead to dentalcaries (decay). Choose a wide variety of snacks which are low in sugar, fat, and salt and high in fibre.Drinks such as milk and water are recommended.YOUR GUMS
: may be easily irritated by dental plaque. When you become pregnant the hormones in your body change. These hormones can cause your gums to become inflamed and bleed. Clean your teeth and gums by brushing and flossing each day to reduce the irritation and keep the gums healthy. During pregnancy ask your dentist to check the condition of your gums and advise you further on how to care for them.BRUSHING
: Its is important. To avoid plaque build up it is important to thoroughly clean your teeth and gums twice a day. Remember each tooth has five surfaces a front, a back, two sides and a top. The only one sure way to prevent dental disease is to clean every surface.FLUORIDE
: Strengthens the teeth and helps prevent decay. Fluoride is found in most toothpastes and your dental professional may recommend you also use of fluoride mouthrinse or have a professional topical fluoride treatment. For your baby there is no clear evidence that taking fluoride tablets during pregnancy will strengthen the baby's developing teeth or help to prevent decay for the baby's teeth. If your your water supply is not fluoridated then your dentist may advise that the baby have a fluoride supplement.DENTAL AND MEDICAL VISITS
: If you are pregnant or suspect that you are, it is important to tell your doctor or dental professional when you visit. Practitioners are carefull in prescribing medicines to pregnant women and only advise those which are really needed. Certain medicines such as the tetracyclines antibiotics can affect your baby's developing teeth. If possible dental x-rays should be avoided during pregnancy however if your dental professional considers if essential for you to have an x-ray special care and protection will be taken.OLD WIVE'S TALE
: There is no truth in the old wive's tale that says a tooth is lost for every pregnancy. Good oral hygiene procedures will ensure that you have healthy teeth and gums during pregnancy.CALCIUM
: it is very important. When you are four months pregnant your baby's teeth and bones begin to calcify. The calcium and phosphorous needed comes from what you eat and if neccessary from your bones. These minerals do not come from your teeth. When you are 7-9 months pregnant your baby needs more calcium and phosphorous. These minerals are best obtained by eating more dairy foods.
Milk and milk products are an excellent source of calcium. Chosse those that are low in fat and sugar. If you dont drink milk or eat milk products such as cheese and yogurt chosse other products that are high in calcium. If you are having difficulty see your doctor or dietician for advice. They may recommend calcium supplements.LOOKING AHEAD
: At first your newborn baby does not have decay causing bacteria in its mouth. As the teeth come through the gum the bacteria that causes decay is passed to the baby by the main carer. Usually the mother, by kissing, food tasting or by cleaning the dummy in their own mouth. It is important that carers thoroughly clean their own teeth and have all their own decayed teeth treated so that they will have low levels of bacteria.This will reduce or greatly delay the transfer of these bacteria to the baby.ORAL HEALTH GUIDELINES
: Plaque is essentially made up of bacteria. By using antibacterial products you can help control plaque formation.
* Visit your dentist before you become pregnant and during your pregnancy to make sure your teeth and gums stay strong and healthy.
*Brush twice a day and floss thoroughly everyday.
*Use an antibacterial rinse such as COLGATE PLAX
before you brush to reduce palque and make your brushing routine more effective.
*Use a soft toothbrush and a proven antibacterial fluoride toothpaste such as COLGATE TOTAL
*Change your toothbrush regularly.
*Eat a nutritious diet from wide variety of foods.
*Increase your calcium intake.
*Avoid frequent snacks that contain sugar. "PREVENTION IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN CURE"