We always place emphasis on the importance of dental health for toddlers, teenagers and adults. But do you know that dental care is equally important to both mother and child from the start of the pregnancy until the delivery of the baby?
A visit to a dentist before your pregnancy is as important as the pre-pregnancy check-ups you have with your obstetrician/ gynaecologist. This will ensure that any dental issues are addressed. The last thing that a mommy-to-be wants to worry about during a pregnancy is a dental emergency.
Due to hormonal changes in the body during a pregnancy, it is not unusual that one would experience bleeding gums (also known as pregnancy gingivitis) during pregnancy. Fortunately, the condition can be controlled and reversed if the overall dental health is well taken care of. For ladies with previous history of bleeding gums, it is essential to place even more emphasis and care on their dental health during pregnancy.
Research has suggested that bacteria that cause inflammation in the gums can actually get into the bloodstream and target the foetus, potentially leading to premature labour and low-birth-weight infants.
Here are some important pointers to take note during a pregnancy:
- Morning sickness is one of the earliest symptoms of a pregnancy. It can range from mild to severe vomiting episodes. Due to the constant exposure of gastric acids on the teeth which may cause the tooth enamel to wear away, it is encouraged to rinse the mouth with water after each episode.
- Eat well. Ensure a healthy balanced diet that incorporates dairy products like milk and yoghurt to help build strong teeth. This increased intake of calcium products is also important and good for the baby to develop strong bones and healthy teeth. You should avoid snacking on sugary and acidic foods to reduce the chances of developing tooth decay.
- Ensure good oral hygiene at all times for prevention of dental issues. This means that you should not skim on your home oral care regime.
Another concern many mommies-to-be have would be on the possible adverse effect(s) that dental treatment may have on the pregnancy. You can be assured that routine treatment such as scaling and polishing is safe during a pregnancy. As a precautionary measure, elective dental treatment can be delayed until after the delivery. In the case of a dental emergency or essential dental treatment, be open and communicate with your dentist on the stage of the pregnancy you are in so that your dentist can advise the best treatment option for you.
Mommies who practice good oral hygiene care will create a positive impact on their children, who will in turn have good oral hygiene.
Having a baby is a major milestone in a woman’s life and we would like to take this special day to salute to all the mommies out there. Thank you for taking care of us and for your unyielding support and love!