Your Teeth in Stages of Pregnancy and Motherhood

Author: Shannon Miller Lifestyle

Smiling Mom

Have you noticed that your teeth and gums change with your stages of life?

It’s not a coincidence. Our dentists, like Dr. McCall in Jacksonville, Florida, sometimes know our stage in life before we do, because he or she can read it in our teeth and gums.

Your Teeth and Gums During Pregnancy

Sometimes, the fleshy area around your teeth show what is really going on hormonally before you can see the issues in other areas. This is because the gums are some of the most sensitive areas in the body. They respond quickly to hormonal changes, as well as changes in blood flow.

Women often get gingivitis in pregnancy because of the shift in hormones. This is a signal to be diligent in your tooth care. Consume foods with calcium, eat your vegetables, and brush and floss with care. If your symptoms do not get better, ask your dentist about it.

Remember also that whenever bacteria harbor in your body, they are more likely to affect your child. Keeping your mouth healthy helps keep your baby healthy, too!

What if my dentist recommends dental work during my pregnancy?

The American Pregnancy Association recommends getting necessary dental work done during pregnancy, not waiting until after the baby is born. They say that there is no evidence of any harm done to the baby during dental work. Studies show that Lidocaine does not cross the placenta. On the other hand, problems in teeth and gums CAN affect the life of the unborn child. It’s best to err on the side of caution and get the necessary procedures done if they arise.

What about tooth whitening or elective procedures during pregnancy?

The American Dental Association recommends doing any elective work during the second trimester, because during the first trimester, the fetus is more sensitive to environmental issues.

SML Take: Do you really need to get that elective dental procedure done while you’re pregnant, or can it wait?

What about after the baby is born?

If you choose to breastfeed, remember that your nutrients and health greatly impact the health of your baby. Continue eating foods rich in calcium and vitamin D for the health of your teeth, as well as the upcoming and developing teeth of the baby.

The best way to take care of your teeth:

  1. Brush twice a day, taking care to brush every tooth gently.
  2. Floss every day
  3. Eat a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D. Such As:
    • Dairy products
    • Oats
    • Sardines with edible bones
    • Soybeans

What about when that baby starts developing little teeth?

Start brushing your child’s teeth gently with a baby toothbrush when she starts getting those first teeth. The foods listed for you to eat (with the exception of sardines) are also acceptable for her to eat as she starts trying new foods.

As your baby becomes a toddler, it is important to make brushing a part of the daily schedule in the morning and evening. There are lots of fun toothbrushes out that add to the excitement of brushing teeth. One motivational tool now is to use lights or music while your child is brushing. Many toothbrushes, like Firefly, come equipped with such tools that automatically turn off after 2 minutes, which is the recommended time allotment for tooth-brushing.

SML TIP:  If you don’t have a fancy toothbrush, find a 2 minute song that your child enjoys and make it the “toothbrush time song.” Play it on a speaker or just sing it for two minutes while your child brushes.

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