Oral hygiene is a fundamental aspect of every pregnant woman's health. Sadly, most expectant moms shy away from visiting dentists due to the popular belief that dental procedures aren't safe. Nonetheless, dental care should begin way before pregnancy and continue even after delivery. Although many make it without visiting a dentist, some endure oral health issues that necessitate a dentist's visit. Besides, there are various dental complications during pregnancy, and you can only trust a professional to fix them.

Are dental procedures safe during pregnancy?
Dentistry is safe during pregnancy, and you should visit your dentist in case of any dental issues. Local anesthesia is also safe for pregnant women. If you need root canals, extractions, or fillings, you can visit a reputed Cosmetic Dentist Essex and be sure to have a pain free experience. Pregnant women are also advised to go for regular dental procedures like teeth cleaning, root canal therapy, fillings, and crowns during the first trimester.

It's advisable to avoid over the counter medications and only use low-risk pain killers prescribed by your doctor. However, some of the procedures may be postponed depending o the stage of your pregnancy. For instance, your dentist may delay x-rays until after delivery or use the lowest radiation.

What are some of the dental changes during pregnancy?
During pregnancy, the hormone levels in your body peak, which can increase acidity in your mouth, causing cavities. However, cavities can also result from the consumption of sugary foods and poor oral hygiene.

Ligaments and bone in your mouth also slacken a bit, and this can cause teeth wiggling. Although this doesn't mean tooth loss, it can be scary. Many other conditions can cause tooth loss, making it critical to visit your dentists frequently.

During the third trimester, your body's inflammatory response causes more bacteria and plaque to cling to your teeth, causing swelling, bleeding gums, or gingivitis. The bacteria can discharge toxins leading to infections in both your gums and bones. If left untreated, it can enter your bloodstream, causing many other critical ailments.

How can you best care for your teeth when pregnant?

1. Visit your dentist often.
Most preventive dental treatments are safe, but it's crucial to inform your dentist about the pregnancy. They will guide you on the best procedures depending on how far along your pregnancy is. The dentist will also assist you in developing a dental plan that may include hygiene practices, adequate nutrition, and specific dental procedures. The dentist will also examine your teeth and gums, and tests on your gum tissues.
 If you suffer from deep cavities, the dentist will fill them to limit the spread of bacteria. In case you have advanced dental issues, the dentist will know the best way to fix this, since delaying treatment can heighten the risk of pre-term delivery.

2. Follow routine oral hygiene.
Oral hygiene is vital for all. But during pregnancy, you endure multiple hormonal changes that may affect your dental health. Brush twice daily using fluoride toothpaste and a quality soft-bristled toothbrush. Avoid toothbrushes with stiff bristles, for they can cause bleeding gums.

Moreover, brush every time you eat something gluey or after vomiting due to morning sickness. Floss every day and avoid sugary drinks. Brush the front and back teeth thoroughly, and don't forget the gum line. This way, you prevent gingivitis and dental caries or tooth decay.

Rinse your mouth with a fluoride mouthwash. If you happen to have irritated gums, rinse with warm salty water, seek help from a dentist if this doesn't work. Proper oral hygiene helps avert cavities and gum disease and should continue even after delivery.

3. Use a tongue cleaner.
Most people forget to clean their tongues, and expectant moms are no exception. This part of the mouth hosts bacteria that can lead to bad breath or paralyze your taste buds. Scrape your tongue gently using a tongue cleaner every time you brush your teeth.

4. Drink more water

Drinking water boosts your overall health and is also great for your oral health. Water aids in the prevention of bad breath and tooth decay. By drinking enough water, you allow your saliva to eliminate food particles from your mouth, which prevents tooth decay.

5. Watch what you eat
Nutrition plays a critical role in your dental health. During pregnancy, most women battle tooth decay issues, which can be attributed to sugary snacks and drinks. Gingivitis is even common than tooth decay.

Limit your sugar intake, and this will lessen the risk of decay and plaque buildup. Instead, opt for healthy snacks that will care for your teeth and supply your body with essential nutrients. Can I tell you great examples?

Yogurt- Yogurt is an excellent snack for pregnant moms. It's laden with calcium, protein, probiotics and is low in sugar. All these nutrients are essential during pregnancy.

Almonds- Almonds are excellent choices when on the go. Stash them in your purse or office desk and munch them when the cravings strike. They are healthy for both you and the unborn baby; they are rich in vitamin E, magnesium, protein, fat, fiber, and many other essential nutrients. They will fill you fast and will keep you satisfied for long.

Apples- Apples have many health gains to both you and your baby. There are high in potassium, vitamin A, Vitamin C, and fibers. You can take them with cheese if you have a sweet tooth; the natural sugar will help with your cravings.

6. Extract decayed teeth
If you have decayed teeth, be sure to have them extricated. Dental procedures are safe for expectant mothers and their babies, and having the tooth extracted will reduce the risk of giving birth to a pre-term baby.

The bottom line
There's a relationship between dental health and pregnancy. Optimal dental care is vital during pregnancy and will benefit both you and your unborn baby. Be sure to visit your dentist often, follow a dental care routine, check your nutrition, and drink lots of water. By so doing, you reduce the likelihood of plaque, tooth decay, and bad breath. You also get the opportunity to have your teeth examined and any issues fixed in advance.