Tooth and gum care in pregnancy….why is it so important?

Healthy teeth and gums in pregnancy!

During pregnancy women need to take extra care of their teeth and gums. The changes in the hormones can make women’s gums more susceptible to disease. These hormones can cause gums to become inflamed and to bleed. A good routine of dental care that involves brushing and flossing every day can help to keep your gums healthy. If you have bleeding gums or inflammation make sure you see your dentist early. There is increasing evidence that dental disease not only has an impact on our health but can also have an impact on our baby’s health.

A healthy balanced diet is also important during pregnancy. Your baby’s bones and teeth begin to calcify when you are only four months pregnant and the calcium and phosphorous they need comes from what you eat. If the baby cannot get it from your diet it will take it from your bones! In the last three months of pregnancy the baby’s requirements for these minerals increase further. Pregnant women need around 1100mg per day of calcium and breastfeeding mothers need about 1200mgs. Dairy products are highest in calcium (milk, cheese, yoghurt, cottage cheese etc). Women can also get calcium from fish such as canned salmon, tahini and nuts such as almonds.

If you visit the dentist when pregnant make sure they know as there are certain medications that should be avoided in pregnancy. X-rays should also be avoided wherever possible during pregnancy.

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