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Understanding the Impact of Oral Health on Babies During Pregnancy
Everything that goes into your body, from food to medicines and even vitamins, affects you and the baby inside you. But did you know that poor oral hygiene could also affect the health of your unborn child?
Your mouth is home to millions of bacteria, some known to travel through the bloodstream and reach your unborn child. That's why practicing good oral health habits throughout pregnancy is essential. Studies have linked poor maternal oral health to preterm deliveries, premature birth, low birth weight, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and more.
It's important to understand the changes in your body during pregnancy and how they could affect your oral health, as you'll be more susceptible to oral health problems. Your hormone levels and blood flow increase, making your gums vulnerable and easily bruised, thus, more prone to infection. Your gums may also become swollen, tender and bleed more easily.
In addition to maintaining a healthy lifestyle to ensure a safe pregnancy and delivery, you can take key steps towards protecting the fetus by taking good care of your teeth.
Brush Twice A Day
Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste for at least two minutes. This helps remove bacteria, plaque and food particles from the surface of the teeth.
Floss Once A Day
Flossing helps remove food debris and plaque between the teeth and the gum line. Be sure to do it gently, and use an antibacterial mouthwash afterwards to reduce bad breath-causing bacteria.
Cut Back On Sugar Intake
Cutting back on sugar intake doesn't just help reduce the risk of cavities and decay—it also leads to overall better health during pregnancy!
Eat Healthy Foods
Eating calcium-rich foods, such as cheese, yogurt, milk, nuts, and leafy greens, will help keep your teeth strong.
Visit the Dentist
Visit the dentist regularly during pregnancy for routine checkups and cleanings. If you're experiencing morning sickness during pregnancy, resist the urge to brush immediately after vomiting, as this can erode tooth enamel. Instead, rinse with water or mouthwash, followed by gentle brushing after an hour. Following these simple steps ensures that you and your baby have the healthiest and happiest pregnancy possible.