Pregnancy is a beautiful experience. However, it is not devoid of financial, physical, or mental challenges.  

Health-wise, every day is a challenge, as there are always things that you need to do to safeguard your baby’s health. 

This article covers the dos and don’ts of oral health during pregnancy, which is usually left out of most prenatal health discussions.

Dental Visits While Pregnant

Regular visits to a dentist are more crucial than ever during pregnancy. This is because morning sickness and vomiting in the early months can damage your teeth, gums, and tongue, as vomit is highly acidic. 

Admittedly, the thought of a painful examination and the dentist potentially shoving stuff in your mouth can make you even more nauseous. 

As such, it is highly advisable to visit the dentist a few times during the first and second trimesters for check-ups and cleanings. Apart from providing significant benefits to your teeth, it is also a logical precaution, as the hormonal changes induced by the pregnancy can cause gum problems. 

Getting any issues discovered and fixed earlier in the journey is better than having to rush during the third trimester when you are more vulnerable and need rest.

One absolute don’t in pregnancy is cosmetic treatments and anything to do with dental x-rays. Usually, these are not urgent and can wait until you deliver. However, if the treatments are absolutely necessary, do them in the first or second trimester.

Beyond Pregnancy

Once the baby comes, you can go back to your regular dental schedule and routines. While at it, don’t forget to watch the baby’s oral health, even if they don’t have any teeth yet. Remember, oral care is not just about the teeth – the gums and tongue matter just as much.

Luckily, it is pretty simple to clean an infant’s mouth. A gentle swipe of the gums with a warm, wet washcloth will do pretty well. 

Once the teething starts, basically after 4-8 months, a bit of extra care will be needed. Apart from the warm washcloth wipes, you also need to constantly look for signs of redness or swelling in the gums and use teething rings or wipe with cold, wet washcloths when necessary. If that doesn’t work, a visit to the dentist will do.

After the first tooth comes out, switch the washcloths for infant toothbrushes and toothpaste. You can, however, use the washcloths to dry the baby’s mouth if they have problems spitting out the rinsing water.

Many parents seem to believe dental care is useless for infants as their initial teeth will all come out after some time. However, bad habits and routines can be hard to eliminate once the kid is older, and gum disease is also possible. 

As a protective measure, it is advisable to schedule your baby’s first visit to the dentist once they grow their first teeth and not later than their first birthday.

Long-Term Oral Care

Once all the baby teeth come out (around the age of 2.5 years), you can add more items to their daily hygiene routines, such as flosses and toothpaste. 

Naturally, you can’t use floss when the baby is younger than two years due to the risk of hurting their undeveloped gums. Further, with kids being kids, you need to use tiny amounts of toothpaste during the child’s first two years since they often find it easier to swallow the paste than spit it out.

Notably, your child will not like brushing and flossing, and you may often have to push them to do it. The key is to make it less of an obligation and more of a fun routine.

 


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