If you have recently discovered that you are pregnant, you may want to keep the following dental health tips in mind.
Start visiting your dentist more regularly
It is extremely important to have your dentist examine your teeth and gums regularly throughout the course of your pregnancy.
The reason for this is as follows: due to the drastic hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy, many pregnant women develop periodontal disease. This could happen to you, even if you have had no prior gum problems and are in excellent overall health.
Periodontal disease can cause gum recession, which could not only make your gums bleed and feel sore, but could also cause them to recede. This recession could affect the appearance of your teeth (by making them look much longer) and increase your risk of losing your teeth in the future.
Even more worryingly, periodontal disease can increase the chances of a pregnant woman's baby being born prematurely or having a lower-than-average birth weight.
As such, it is vital to go for check-ups at your dentist's clinic frequently. This will ensure that if you do start to develop gum disease, your dentist will be able to see the signs and take action immediately to stop the condition from worsening.
Try not to give into your pregnancy-related food cravings too frequently
It is very common for pregnant women to suddenly develop extremely strong cravings for specific foods or drinks. Unfortunately, some women may find themselves craving starchy or sugary foods or very sweet drinks.
If you develop cravings for things like chocolate, white bread or pasta, cake or sugary carbonated drinks, it's important to try to control these cravings as much as possible.
The reason for this is that the bacterial plaque on your teeth thrive on sugary and starchy foods; they use these substances to create the erosive acids that can cause gum inflammation and enamel erosion.
As such, if you give in to your cravings on a daily basis, you will essentially end up feeding the plaque bacteria in your mouth, who will then inflict harm on your teeth and gums.
Given that you will be more susceptible to periodontal disease throughout your pregnancy (as explained above), it is best not to do anything that could further increase the likelihood of this condition developing.
If your craving for a sugar or starch-laden food becomes too strong, try to only have a small portion of it, and make sure to brush and floss your teeth after you have finished eating.