The period of huge changes
During pregnancy the organism of pregnant women goes through a lot of changes. This period of time is not only different in the hormones but in the need of minerals and vitamins too.
Why do teeth decay faster?
Some American researches show that the more children women give birth to the bigger the risk is for tooth loss and gum problems, however, it is not a principle. We can protect our teeth (and our beautiful smile) with the right dental care in the period of time too.
But what causes the problem:
Considering the needs of the baby
The organism of pregnant women (metabolism, hormones) changes as the foetus formats in a way that it can fully support the foetus. The changes affect the buccal area too: the antibacterial and pH neutralizing effects of the spittle reduce but the produced amount increases.
During the first trimester morning sickness and vomiting is very common which means that the spittle and the pH scale will be more acidic than before the pregnancy. Acid is responsible for tooth decay and the damage of the enamel of the tooth.
Changes in hormones make teeth less stable, moveable and the gum can be more sensitive and bleeder.
Your baby also needs vitamins
Though milk teeth are not visible when the baby is born, they are already almost completely developed in the jawbone. The condition of the milk teeth is highly dependent on the embryo period. If a pregnant woman does not pay enough attention to uptake enough vitamins and minerals it will affect her own and her baby’s teeth (milk teeth and later the permanent ones) as well.
So what is it worth to pay attention to?
The myth of “eating for two”
You have probably already heard that a pregnant woman ‘eats for two’. There is some truth in it, however, it is important to know that the phrase refers to the QUALITY of the food and not the quantity.
It is important to uptake the right amount of vitamins (A, C, D), calcium, phosphorus and protein. Moreover, it is advisable to avoid eating too sweet and acidic drinks and food because these are harmful to the teeth.
Rinse with clean water
If we cannot avoid too sweet, too salty or acidic food or drinks it is advisable to rinse with clean water and wait for thirty minutes before tooth brushing. The same goes to the morning sickness.
The right dental care!
This is the key to keep our teeth healthy. It is not only true for the period of pregnancy but it is crucial of importance because of the above mentioned reasons.
Dental examination and treatment
It is advisable to visit dentist before the pregnancy period starts in order to have a general consultation and examination. If it is not possible it would be advantageous to attend a consultation during the pregnancy, especially if the pregnant woman experiences problems with her teeth and/or with her gum.
Severe intervention should be delayed until the baby is born – the dentist can advise you on that too. It is important not to have mercury fillings (to remove old fillings and to replace them). It is advised to have the mercury fillings removed before the pregnancy. If a filling is needed during the pregnancy period, it should be treated with composite filling.
Tooth whitening should be avoided during this period. Though there is no true evidence that whitening materials are harmful for the foetus, there is also not evidence for the opposite. During this treatment it is possible that the expectant swallows a little from the material used so it should be avoided during pregnancy.
And lastly: trust your dentist!
The most important thing is the consultation with the dentist. It would be better to consult him even before the pregnancy so that you can prepare your body to uptake the right amount of vitamins and minerals. If you happen to experience something unusual with your teeth and gum during your pregnancy, it is advisable to visit your dentist. You should also have tooth examination twice a year even during the pregnancy.