5 Keys to Taking Care of Your Teeth During Pregnancy

It's crucial to protect your teeth during pregnancy to avoid complications. We'll tell you the 5 basic ways to care for your oral health care when you're expecting.
5 Keys to Taking Care of Your Teeth During Pregnancy

Last update: 11 October, 2022

Every pregnant woman should pay attention to her health to avoid complications and for the baby to develop healthily. Taking care of your teeth during pregnancy is one more aspect to take into account in order to avoid problems during pregnancy.

The normal changes that occur during pregnancy increase the risk of suffering oral cavity conditions, such as cavities and gingivitis. Good oral health not only prevents discomfort and complications in the mother’s mouth but also reduces the risk of premature birth or low birth weight in babies.

Visiting the dentist regularly and having oral hygiene habits in your daily routine will help keep your mouth healthy. Here are some useful tips for taking care of your teeth during pregnancy.

5 keys to taking care of your teeth during pregnancy

A dentist working on a pregnant woman's teeth.

1. Inform the dentist about your pregnancy

When a pregnant woman goes to the dentist, she should inform the dentist about her condition. There are some practices that are best avoided and procedures that are preferred in certain trimesters of pregnancy.

During the consultation, the professional performs a complete oral examination. Depending on the particularities of the clinical case, the dentist advises the patient on the necessary treatments and the best time to perform them. The dentist also gives advice on oral health care during pregnancy.

2. Perform quarterly check-ups to take care of teeth during pregnancy

Every pregnant woman should have a dental check-up every 3 months. This is an effective way to take care of your teeth during pregnancy, as check-ups allow any problems to be detected early.

Hormonal changes can cause gum inflammation; the gums become red, swollen, and painful. The dentist detects this problem and treats it.

In addition, during these consultations, the professional performs cleanings and fluoride topications that help maintain the health of the mouth. They’ll give valuable information about the care of the teeth at home and advice about the oral cavity of the unborn baby.

Beyond the scheduled check-ups every trimester, it’s vital to consult immediately in the case of emergencies, pain, or infection. These situations put the fetus at risk and increase stress on the mother, potentially causing contractions or premature labor.

3. Pay attention to dental hygiene

Dental brushing is essential to taking care of your teeth during pregnancy. It should be done 3 times a day for 3 minutes and with a soft bristle brush.

Attention should be paid to cleaning all sides of the teeth, as well as the gums and tongue. Oral hygiene should be complemented with the use of dental floss once a day to reach the areas between teeth, where the toothbrush can’t reach.

The use of fluoride toothpastes is also convenient, as they provide protection to tooth enamel and help prevent cavities. Mouthwashes may be indicated by the dentist, especially to relieve inflamed gums.

4. Maintain a balanced diet

Following a healthy, varied, and nutritious diet during pregnancy is essential in order to take care of the mother’s general health and promote the proper development of the baby. Ensuring sufficient intake of proteins, minerals, calcium, phosphorus, and vitamins is vital.

“The nutritional status of women when they become pregnant and during pregnancy can have a major influence on the health outcomes of the fetus, infant, and mother.”

World Health Organization (WHO)

Foods rich in sugar, such as sweets and pastries, which favor the appearance of cavities and affect general health, should be avoided. Eating 5 meals a day is recommended to obtain sufficient and necessary energy.

5. Drink plenty of water

It’s very important for pregnant women to stay hydrated. It’s common for the mouth to dry out during pregnancy due to hormonal changes.

Xerostomia, or dry mouth, not only causes discomfort but also favors the appearance of diseases such as cavities. Keeping a bottle of water handy is a good practice that helps to control this problem.

The liquid of choice should be clean, natural water. It’s preferable to avoid sugary drinks, carbonated drinks, or soft drinks, as they’re cariogenic. Also, don’t drink any liquid containing alcohol because of the damage it causes to the baby.

Taking care of the teeth during pregnancy is taking care of the baby

A pregnant woman at the dentist.

Although they may seem unconnected, taking care of your teeth during pregnancy is a way of taking care of your pregnancy. The bond with the baby is also expressed in oral health conditions.

The repercussions that a lack of proper hygiene can have on the mouth are complex. Premature contractions due to dental infections can lead to premature delivery, for example.

Similarly, if dental intervention is necessary at any trimester, due to poor care or the development of cavities, you should keep in mind that certain medications can’t be used. This complicates the therapeutic approach and is one more reason to take care of your teeth during pregnancy.

It’s also important that many of the practices and habits that are incorporated during pregnancy remain for the rest of your life. Even if the pregnancy is over, your mouth always deserves special care.

And these habits should also be extended as education for children. As your baby grows, they should learn to take care of their mouth and teeth and that this is a way to protect themself.

When going to the dentist, all doubts should be cleared up and you should find out which products are the best to take care of your mouth and which cleaning techniques are recommended to go through this stage with a healthy mouth.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

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This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.