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The Importance of Oral Health During Pregnancy

The Importance of Oral Health During Pregnancy

Women who are pregnant obviously have a period of adjustment ahead of them, especially in terms of understanding the changes to their bodies during this exciting time. But many tend to neglect the aspect of oral hygiene, which is crucial. We all know the connections between oral health and overall health, and the importance is magnified as hormonal shifts can exacerbate dental issues.

Proper oral care isn't just essential for the mother-to-be; it's also crucial to the baby. Gingivitis and gum disease can have adverse affects on his/her growth and development. Gingivitis is, of course, an inflammation of the gums. It's quite common in all of us, but even more so in pregnant women as they experience elevated hormone levels. And since pregnant women are generally at higher risk for gingivitis, their tooth and gum care is of special importance.

For pregnant women, the proper avenue to good oral health is the same as it is for all of us. Bi-annual dentist visits are needed for examination and professional cleaning. The cleaning is important for obvious reasons, and the exams will keep both you and your dentist aware of any ongoing or emerging dental issues. Bi-daily brushing and flossing, of course, remain very important, as bacteria buildup often causes gum problems. It is also recommended to use an antimicrobial mouthwash that can further protect the teeth and gums from buildup. Another key step in maintaining personal oral hygiene is tongue-scraping. This is yet another layer of preventative care, helping to clear the tongue and surrounding areas of harmful bacteria.

Diet also plays a role in keeping up the health of your teeth and gums. Sugary foods can serve to not only eat away at tooth enamel, but also turn into long-term plaque buildup that irritates and damages the gums. So, consider this as yet another major benefit of healthy eating during your pregnancy.

In summary, please don’t lose sight of the extreme importance oral health has during your pregnancy. Avoiding tooth decay, gingivitis, and other troublesome dental problems plays a key role in a healthy and enjoyable pregnancy. Of course, a pregnancy is not required to make oral health crucial to our lives, but with so much more at stake during this time, be informed and proactive on the issue. You both need it.