"Every child costs you a tooth." This was a saying in my grandmothers time. It was believed that during pregnancy, the growing baby withdrew the mother's Calcium from her teeth, thus causing cavities.
Sience has made major leaps and has since discovered that no such process occurs. What does happen is an increase in acidity of saliva, which attacks the dental glaze more than before you were pregnant. That combined with more frequent snacking leaves your teeth prone to developing cavities.
Hormonal changes affect your gums durng pregnancy, which makes them more sensitive to bleeding, which in turn can lead to inflammation or infection.
Good dental hygiene is of high importance during pregnancy, because gum disease can affect your pregnancy.
- Brush after every meal
- Use dental floss!!
- Avoid sugary snacks
- If morning sickness is keeping you from brushing your teeth, try to change your brand of toothpaste a couple of times. Try at least to rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash.
If possible, you should have a dental check-up before getting pregnant, this way, if you need any work done, you can have it out of the way. It is recommended to plan a visit to your dentist during pregnancy, but make sure to inform him that you are pregnant. The best time for this visit is during second trimester (try to avoid the first trimester and the second half of the third trimester). Stay clear of dental X-rays unless they are indespensable.
Picture Courtesy of Radiant Guy on Flickr