Dental Hygiene and Nutrition During Pregnancy

Dental Hygiene and Nutrition During Pregnancy

Good dental hygiene habits

Good dental hygiene is essential for preventing or controlling pregnancy gingivitis and for eliminating the bacteria from dental plaque.

It is recommended to brush your teeth 2 to 3 times a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and to floss at least once a day, ideally at night, in order to adequately remove dental plaque and food residues.

Tooth brushing before going to bed is very important because the production of saliva decreases at night, removing one of your mouth’s most important defense mechanisms. In addition to the usual recommendations, pregnant women should rinse their mouth with water after each small meal to limit the accumulation of food residue between the teeth and gums. If tooth brushing triggers nausea, try using a smaller brush (for children) and brushing with gentle movements. Some women prefer not to use toothpaste.

Pregnancy affects teeth

Teeth are affected by physical changes and habits of pregnant women. Hormonal changes cause an acidification of the saliva. Nausea can sometimes make oral hygiene, especially tooth brushing, difficult. Nausea and the pressure of the baby on the stomach promote dietary changes and the need for several small meals per day (nibbling). Also, teeth can be affected by vomiting during the first trimester and gastric reflux in late pregnancy. All these factors can lead to problems like tooth erosion and tooth decay and should be taken seriously.

Vomiting and gastric reflux

Nausea, vomiting and gastric reflux are common during pregnancy.

Stomach acid is very harmful to the teeth and can cause dental erosion, tooth decay and mucosal irritation, especially on the gums.

If there is vomiting or gastric reflux, it is recommended to rinse the mouth with water after each episode and to wait a period of 30 minutes before tooth brushing. This will avoid damage to the teeth from the presence of gastric fluid in the mouth. It is also possible to use a toothpaste and mouthwash with a neutral pH or to chew sugarless or xylitol gum to protect the teeth and stimulate salivation.

Pregnancy and nutrition

Having a good diet during pregnancy ensures optimal development of the baby and keeps the mother healthy.

It will also promote a good oral health and will keep tooth decay at bay.

Among the healthy habits, we suggest snacks like fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and firm cheese.

Drink water instead of juice.

Avoid caffeine and soft drinks.

Abstain from eating refined sugars. They cause substantial fluctuations in blood glucose.

Pay attention to sticky foods such as figs, dates, raisins, etc., especially in snacks. Despite their nutritional qualities, they stick to the teeth and can promote tooth decay.