- Christine McMurray
Tooth loss in pregnancy - Fact or Fiction?
"Women lose a tooth for each child they have given birth to because calcium is taken out of the teeth during pregnancy."
"Calcium is not removed from the teeth during pregnancy. Hormonal changes during pregnancy are a risk factor for gum disease which may cause premature birth of your baby."
But everyone says that pregnancy makes your teeth go bad... so what are the facts and what do you need to know if you’re pregnant? Here are the facts:
1. Keep those teeth and gums nice and clean, its important.
Excellent oral hygiene is essential. This should include brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and spitting the toothpaste out only. Rinsing with water after brushing is not recommended. Toothbrushes can’t clean the area between the teeth so daily flossing or use of interdental brushes, such as piksters, is required.
2. Your gums can bleed and become very sensitive.
You may notice an increase in bleeding during brushing and flossing. This is often related to the hormonal changes within your body but it may also be that there is an underlying problem with the gums. Research shows that untreated gum disease may lead to premature birth, so you should continue to have your teeth and gums checked and cleaned during pregnancy, it’s safe. In fact most dental treatment is safe during pregnancy.
3. Morning sickness can lead to tooth decay.
Problems may occur if you are suffering from morning sickness and cannot stand the thought of putting you toothbrush in your mouth. We suggest that if you suffer from vomiting, you rinse your mouth out with water after each episode or chew sugar free chewing gum to stimulate your saliva and get rid of the stomach acid which can erode the teeth. Never brush your teeth after vomiting because your teeth will be soft due the acid and brushing can remove the enamel from the teeth. Wait 30 minutes, then brush your teeth. You may find that it gets to lunchtime and you haven’t brushed yet. If this is the case and you feel up to it, brush then. There is no rule to say you have to brush after breakfast – it is just a matter of brushing when you can.
4. If you’re craving sweets, opt for a healthy option .
We are all aware of the strange cravings that may occur during pregnancy. If you find yourself craving sweet food & drink it can lead to decay very quickly. Be very careful how often you are consuming sugar and rinse with water after eating or drinking. If you crave for sweetness try fruit, vegetables or natural yoghurt. Hard cheese and milk are very good at protecting the teeth and are also healthy options.
5. If in doubt, just ask us. We’re here to help.
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