You've received the list from your medical professional on the do's and don'ts of a healthy pregnancy and you keep up to date on what's to expect when you are expecting, but are you missing any other vital information?
A common misconception during and after pregnancy is the baby took away all of my calcium on my teeth. This is a myth tooth decay that comes about after pregnancy is from lack of preventive care or insufficient healthy habits that will reduce the decay causing bacteria from damaging your enamel.
A very real concern during pregnancy is that the changes in hormones in your body now make your gums more susceptible to disease. The same amount of bacteria in your mouth prior to pregnancy now can cause your gums to be puffy and bleed. In the early years of my practice as a dental hygienist when I found out my client was expecting I would simply prepare them for the inevitable and advise meticulous home care practices. We now know so much more about the importance of a healthy mouth and the effects of poor oral health on our entire body as well as the growth of your unborn child.
We now follow higher standards of practice when addressing the health of all our clients a little bit of bleeding in the gums is not OK, and we strive to keep bleeding to a minimum and ideally nil. In a perfect scenario women would seek out their dental hygienist before trying to conceive to confirm all oral health issues have been addressed. In preparation of pending conception you would be placed on a healthy cleaning schedule of every 3 months.
What the 3 month preventive cycle will do is reduce the bacteria load on your body and ultimately help keep your gums as healthy as possible. Research has shown that women with unstable moderate to advanced periodontal disease (gum disease) are at higher risk of having babies with low birth weights.
Steps to a healthy mouth during pregnancy include:
1. have a full assessment with your dental hygienist prior to pregnancy
2. see your dental hygienist every 3 months to reduce bacteria load on your body
3. practice healthy home care habits such as brushing with a fluoride toothpaste, choosing a power or manual toothbrush with a small head, cleaning between your teeth with floss, toothpicks, inter-dental brushes or a water pick.
4. eat a healthy well balanced diet low in sugar
Hanover Dental Hygiene Care
519 506 8586