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How-To-Prepare-Your-Teeth-For-Pregnancy

How To Prepare Your Teeth For Pregnancy

“Women are more prone to gum disease during pregnancy, explains Dr Paul O’Dwyer, group clinical advisor at Dental Care Ireland.

“Gums can often become swollen or tender, and may bleed during brushing. The good news is that they usually return to normal after delivery, and any sensitivity should also diminish. In the meantime, keeping up a thorough oral health routine will help, as well as ensuring plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables in your diet.” 

Gum Disease

Hormonal changes during pregnancy increase blood flow to the gum tissue, which can cause gums to become more sensitive, leading to inflammation and bleeding. This condition is referred to as pregnancy gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease. It affects between 50% and 70% of women at some time during their pregnancy.

If left untreated, it can develop into full periodontal disease, which infects the bone and other tissue supporting the teeth. It is important, therefore, to keep the teeth and gums as clean and healthy as possible during pregnancy, by maintaining a good oral health routine. 

Morning Sickness 

If you experience morning sickness during pregnancy, think twice before reaching for your toothbrush! 

When you are sick, you expose your teeth to acid, which can soften your enamel. If you brush straight away, you can risk hurting your enamel further while it is still sensitive. Instead, rinse your mouth with water or an alcohol-free mouthwash, and wait 30 minutes before brushing. 

Dental Treatments 

Ideally, schedule a dental check-up before you are pregnant, to ensure that any outstanding or urgent treatment can be completed. 

It is safe and recommended to continue to visit your dentist or dental hygienist for a check-up and routine dental work during pregnancy. However, dental x-rays should be avoided while pregnant. Always make sure to tell your dentist that you are pregnant. 

8 Pregnancy Dental Health Tips: 

  1. Brush teeth thoroughly at least twice daily, using a fluoride toothpaste 
  2. Floss teeth every day 
  3. Rinse with water or alcohol-free mouthwash after morning sickness
  4. Introduce a soft-bristled brush for sensitive teeth  
  5. Schedule a dental check-up and professional clean 
  6. Maintain a balanced and varied diet
  7. Avoid snacking on food or drinks with a high sugar content  
  8. Take note of food or drinks that trigger sensitivity 

Dr Paul O’Dwyer BDS, MSc is group clinical advisor at Dental Care Ireland, a new Irish-owned network of established dental practices nationwide. For further information, visit www.dentalcareireland.ie


About the Author

Dr Paul O’Dwyer BDS, MSc is group clinical advisor at Dental Care Ireland, a new Irish-owned network of established dental practices nationwide. For further information, visit www.dentalcareireland.ie

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