Start Motherhood With a Healthy Mouth
Being pregnant affects your oral health. As your body changes during pregnancy, you are more likely to get sore, puffy or red gums. Paying attention to your oral health is especially important at this time. The good news is that by taking care of your mouth during pregnancy, you are not only helping yourself, you are also helping your baby.
Dental disease is caused by bad bacteria (germs) that can be easily transmitted from mom to infant through saliva by sharing food or utensils. Getting dental care during pregnancy is safe and strongly recommended. By getting your own teeth treated prior to the birth of your baby, less bacteria will be transmitted to your baby and your child will be at less risk for developing cavities.
Parents who keep their own mouths healthy will help prevent problems for their child.
How Do You Keep Your Mouth healthy?
- Brush with fluoridated toothpaste twice daily (especially important before bed time) and floss every day.
- Chew gum with xylitol (a natural sweetener that reduces the cavity-causing germs in the mouth) four to five times a day, especially after eating.
- Limit sweet and high-carbohydrate snacks, such as soda, candy, crackers and chips. These foods feed the germs that live in the mouth and cause cavities. When you do eat these foods, brush afterwards. If brushing is not possible, rinse your mouth with water.
- Continue to get regular dental care while pregnant. This includes preventive care, along with fillings and emergency dental services as needed. Receiving dental care while pregnant is safe and recommended. Once you have a newborn baby, it will be hard to find the time to get to the dentist, so do it now.
- If you have nausea and vomiting, it is important to reduce the acid in your mouth (it can damage your teeth). Eat small amounts of nutritious snacks during the day. If you vomit, rinse your mouth. Put 1 teaspoon of baking soda in a cup of water and use this to rinse. Be sure to spit after rinsing. Do not brush right after vomiting; this can damage the surface of your teeth.
“There were a hundred things to do to get ready for my baby. But since I knew MY oral health impacted my baby, I made it a priority.”
Dr. Eve, dentist, Snohomish, WA