Poor Oral Hygiene Can Affect Your Pregnancy
Any mom or soon to be parent will tell you that once you have kids, your life is forever changed. Instead of evening dinners at your favorite restaurants and impromptu shopping sprees, you’ll be busy washing bottles and folding onesies. Parenting can be difficult, stressful, beautiful, and gratifying all at the same time. That unexplainable feeling you get when you are able to hold your little one’s hand or see them smile for the first time is why everything you do is geared to benefit them.
Your Health Affects Your Baby’s Health
Even if you’re pregnant for the first time, putting together a nursery or working extra hours before the baby comes may be consuming all your time. However, it is important to remember whether you’re an experienced parent or not that you have to take care of yourself to be able to take care of your child. You can’t forget that you’re a person with needs that also needs to be taken care of, especially if you are pregnant. Making sure you take care of every aspect of your health is important when you are pregnant. That first nine months is when the baby begins development which is why expectant mothers are restricted from certain things, to protect their baby. That baby living inside you is dependent on you for everything, which pretty much stays that way for a long time, even after you give birth.
Poor Oral Hygiene Affects Pregnancy
Most women know that smoking or skydiving while pregnant will negatively affect a baby. Did you know that bad oral hygiene has negative effects as well? If you’re pregnant you should go to the dentist even more than you normally do, pregnant women have a higher risks of getting gingivitis and symptoms that can lead to gum disease. According to the American Dental Association pregnant women with gum disease are four to seven times more likely to have premature babies. Poor oral health is also linked to pregnancy complications (pre-eclampsia) and low birth rates.
Although there is not enough evidence to say that gingivitis alone will cause premature pregnancies, generally if the mother has infections or poor health that will negatively affect her pregnancy.
Oral Hygiene During Pregnancy
If you’re pregnant the last thing on your mind may be your oral health or a visit to the dentist. The appearance of your teeth may seem minor compared to the fact that you will be bringing a new life into the world. However, you should do things to benefit you and your baby. If that means brushing a little longer to prevent a premature birth or scheduling a dentist appointment to ensure a safe delivery, I think that is worth it. Anything that you can do to make your pregnancy better is good for you and your baby. This means that during your pregnancy you should go to the dentist every two to three months. Since pregnant women have a higher risk of dental problems it is important to get that checked out. If you do find out you have gingivitis don’t worry. You can easily solve that in a couple of days if you begin a good oral hygiene routine and stick to it. That means brushing after every meal or at least twice a day for 2 minutes long. Every good oral hygiene routine also needs to have at least daily flossing and an antiseptic mouthrinse to assist with the brushing. Most Americans are living with gingivitis or some form of gum disease and don’t even know it. Take care of yourself which will in turn take care of your baby.
Victoria Cairo is a blogger for Greenspoint Dental in Houston, Texas. She loves children and enjoys flossing.