Oral care is especially important during pregnancy for several reasons:
During pregnancy, women are likely to eat and drink more frequently throughout the day. And with the more frequent sugar intake comes an increased risk for cavities, so it’s especially important to stick with a sound tooth brushing and flossing routine.
Some women may be more likely to develop red, puffy gums during pregnancy because the additional amount of the hormone progesterone in the body causes a strong reaction to normal amounts of plaque. If your gums are especially sensitive, try a soft floss that slides easily and comfortably between teeth, such as Oral-B® SATINfloss®, or a specialty interdental cleaning tool.
Although some pregnant women may have a dental emergency that requires a dental x-ray, taking good care of your teeth during pregnancy reduces the odds that you will need dental x-rays, and you can avoid exposing your baby to radiation. But if you do need x-rays, don’t panic. Your dental professional will minimize your exposure by having you wear a leaded apron and leaded band around your neck to protect your thyroid.
Of course, proper nutrition is part of good dental hygiene, and pregnant women in particular should be sure to eat a variety of healthy foods and get plenty of calcium, phosphorous, protein, vitamin A, vitamin D and vitamin C.
Contrary to a popular myth, you won’t lose calcium from your teeth during pregnancy if you aren’t getting enough calcium in your diet. A growing baby will take calcium from a mother’s bones, not her teeth. But that’s all the more reason to eat healthy while following a strict routine of good oral care.