The highest priority for (expectant) mothers is the well-being of their baby and this means that they especially have to take care of themselves. They should not neglect their dental care. More and more scientists agree that oral health and general health are interrelated. Due to hormonal changes during pregnancy, the demands on dental care may also change. First, pregnant women are more prone to the formation of plaque due to the hormonal changes the body undergoes during pregnancy. If the plaque is not removed thoroughly, it can lead to tooth decay and/or gingivitis and, in the next step, periodontitis. Studies imply that pregnant women with untreated gingivitis have an increased risk of miscarriage. This is a solid reason to pay more attention to oral hygiene during pregnancy. Due to the increased formation of estrogen, the gums are supplied with more blood and gum bleeding can occur. In addition, the saliva is more acidic during pregnancy and thus more likely to attack the protective enamel.
If there is a desire to have children and family planning is acute, dental care can be directly included in the planning in order to minimise the risk of oral diseases during pregnancy. It's best to talk to your dentist before you get pregnant. Possible existing problems can be treated in advance. Among other things, the dentist will examine your gums for swelling or bleeding, for untreated caries, cavities, mucous membrane lesions or possible signs of infection or trauma. The dentist will advise you on what to look out for during pregnancy when caring for your teeth and will make individual recommendations based on your dental history. This way you are prepared for possible dental problems in advance and can act directly against them, should any of them occur.
Once the good news are confirmed, there will be some things you need to watch out for, to ensure your and your baby's health so that you can enjoy a happy and healthy pregnancy. In terms of oral care, there are some things you can do, to keep your teeth and gums healthy. After the positive pregnancy test, you should make another appointment with your dentist, as it may be that some time has passed since the last conversation before pregnancy.
Please pay particular attention to a thorough oral hygiene. Brush your teeth regularly, at least twice a day, with a soft toothbrush. It is better to change your toothbrush once more to make sure that there are not too many germs on the bristles. With special antibacterial toothbrushes, you don't have to worry about it. Coating the bristles with gold or silver prevents bacteria from accumulating on the brush. Toothpastes developed for pregnant women, with or without fluoride, contain ingredients such as aloe vera, tannins or amino acids that target specific oral hygiene requirements during pregnancy.
If you are struggling with nausea, please be careful not to brush your teeth directly after vomiting, but be sure to rinse out your mouth so that your stomach acid cannot attack the enamel. If you can't do without brushing your teeth, rinse your mouth thoroughly. A healthy diet is especially important for healthy teeth and a key to your baby's overall health. Avoid foods that contain industrial sugars. Of course, a piece of cake or something sweet in general is not forbidden from time to time, but a vitamin-rich diet consisting of vegetables, fruits and cereals is generally recommended. Discuss with your gynaecologist whether your diet provides you and your baby with important nutrients such as folic acid.
After giving birth
Once the baby is born, your world will be turned upside down. Nevertheless, you should not forget about everything else and always take care about yourself and your own health. Your baby will also benefit from your self-care. Especially dental care should not be neglected. Pregnancy could have influenced your oral flora more than you think.
Keep going to the dentist regularly and find out when you should also take care of your baby's oral hygiene. At the latest when the first teeth arrive, you should make sure that the right products for baby dental care are in the house.