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Oral hygiene: Healthy dental habits to practice during pregnancy | Health

Growing a tiny human is a beautiful journey, but it’s not just your belly that needs special care during pregnancy. It is a precious time in a woman’s life, filled with joy and anticipation. However, it can also bring a host of challenges, both physical and emotional. Did you know that maintaining good oral hygiene can have a significant impact on your overall health and your baby’s? Many expectant mothers may not realize that pregnancy can affect their dental health in various ways, from increased risk of gum disease to changes in taste and salivary flow. That’s why it’s essential to adopt healthy oral habits during pregnancy, not just for your own well-being but also for the health of your developing baby. (Also read: Oral hygiene: Simple dental care tips to restore your gum health )

Diksha Tahilramani Batra, Prosthodontist, Implantalogist and Smile Design Specialist, shared with HT Lifestyle, “The period of pregnancy is physically and emotionally demanding and must be managed well, especially with regards to expected pain and emergencies. Expectant mothers must inform the doctor of their status even before the first trimester since there are a few restrictions that one must be aware of to be able to take quick action on dental pain. Following are the guidelines we use for treating expectant mothers.”

  • They should not be subjected to any undue stress,
  • No x- rays must be taken to prevent any radiation for the baby,
  • Medication should be given with caution and limited as much as possible right through pregnancy, childbirth and up to lactation.
  • Any extensive procedures requiring major anaesthesia or which may induce recovery pain or require the use of painkillers post-treatment must be deferred till after the pregnancy.

Dr. Diksha further shared some healthy oral habits that every expectant mother should follow for a happy and healthy pregnancy.

1. Get a preventive dental checkup

At the time of conception or if planning a pregnancy getting a mandatory dental check always seems prudent to avoid any emergencies. Any treatments must be carried out preconception and in the 2 nd trimester if any active decay or pain is preempted. A dental cleanup is suggested at this time. Simple cavity fillings can be done to control decay but major procedures must be deferred unless urgent.

2. Fighting decay

In addition to good oral hygiene, it is important to add an additional layer of protection by adding treatments like fluoride application to prevent the decay of your teeth. In addition, we can use products with fluoride which is safe in recommended concentration and when not ingested. Teeth are more prone to decay especially at this time due to excessive exposure to sugar and the inability to look after hygiene.

3. Prenatal vitamins to your rescue

Many gum conditions can be controlled by using vitamins, especially ones like vitamin C vitamin B12 and folic acid all of which have a major role to play in maintaining good gum health.

4. Healthy diet and good hydration

Eating a healthy diet comprising leafy vegetables and fruits in pregnancy has benefits beyond just your teeth and gums. Ensuring good water intake can also improve overall health and improve oral hygiene. Occasional cravings for foods will not affect dental health but when consumed frequently and in large uncontrolled amounts it can lead to an overall higher rate of decay and trigger dental issues.

Pregnancy and motherhood are busy times for a woman and proper preparation is needed to embark on these commitments. One must ensure looking after one’s own health and address any long-standing dental issues to prevent emergency pain or inconvenience.

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