Healthy Gums, Happy Pregnancy
As your baby develops tooth buds, you, too, need to take good care of your teeth and gums.
The pregnancy hormone, progesterone, may cause your gums to be extra tender, especially when you brush and floss.
Some tenderness is normal but if your gums are bright red, sore and bleed easily, you may have gingivitis (inflammation of the gums). This begins in the second or third month of pregnancy and increases in severity through the eighth month.
It could develop into periodontitis which increases your chances of having a premature baby.
Keeping Your Gums Healthy
1. Get checked. Visit your dentist at least once during your pregnancy to get your teeth examined. The best time to do so is in your second trimester, when you are least likely to experience the nausea of morning sickness, or the discomfort of lying on your back due to your baby’s weight.
2. Brush and floss diligently. Many mums-to-be suffer from morning sickness, when acids from the stomach can damage tooth enamel. Following an episode of nausea, avoid brushing your teeth for one hour as saliva helps neutralise the acid. If brushing triggers nausea, try using a child-size toothbrush or brush without toothpaste. In both cases, rinse your mouth with a fluoride mouthwash to clean and protect your teeth.
3. Brush your tongue as it also harbours bacteria.
4. Remember to rinse. If you’re suffering from morning sickness, make sure you brush, or at least rinse, once after throwing up. It’ll not only get rid of the yucky taste in your mouth but remove the acid and bacteria that accompanies vomit.
5. Avoid sugary treats. Snack on fruit or dairy instead.
6. Eat right. Include plenty of Vitamin C in your diet, which prevents bleeding gums.