Don't skip your dental checkup appointment simply because you are pregnant. Now more than any other time, regular periodontal (gum) examinations are very important because pregnancy causes hormonal changes that put you at increased risk for periodontal disease and for tender gums that bleed easily – a condition called pregnancy gingivitis. Pay particular attention to any changes in your gums during pregnancy. If tenderness, bleeding or gum swelling occurs at any time during your pregnancy, talk with your dentist or periodontist as soon as possible.
Tell your dentist if you are pregnant. These are critical times in the baby's growth and development and it's wise to avoid exposing the mother to procedures that could in any way influence the baby's growth and development.
Coping With Morning Sickness
- If morning sickness is keeping you from brushing your teeth, change to a bland-tasting toothpaste during your pregnancy. Ask your dentist or hygienist to recommend brands.
- Rinse your mouth out with water or a mouth rinse if you suffer from morning sickness and have bouts of frequent vomiting.
Eating Right for Your Teeth and Baby
- Avoid sugary snacks. Sweet cravings are common during pregnancy. However, keep in mind that the more frequently you snack, the greater the chance of developing tooth decay. Additionally, some studies have shown that the bacteria responsible for tooth decay are passed from the mother to the child. So be careful of what you eat.
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet. Your baby's first teeth begin to develop about three months into your pregnancy. Healthy diets containing dairy products, cheese and yogurt are a good source of these essential minerals and are good for your baby's developing teeth, gums, and bones.