Visiting the dentist

If you’re planning on becoming pregnant it’s important to visit your dentist and have check-up. Routine dental treatment is safe during pregnancy. If you are already pregnant, don’t avoid visiting the dentist. It’s important to check that your teeth and gums are healthy. Ensure you advise your dentist that you are pregnant when scheduling your

appointment. Your dentist may recommend a dental check-up during your second

trimester. That’s because morning sickness has usually subsided in most women. Food cravingsIt’s not unusual to experience food cravings and even food aversions when you’re pregnant. If your craving is for sugary snacks, you may increase your risk of tooth decay. As much as possible, try to snack on low sugar foods. If only sweet snacks

will satisfy your craving, try to choose some healthier options such as fresh fruits and yoghurts. Ideally, consume your snacks as close as possible to meal times and brush your teeth after each meal if your sugar intake has been high. If you consume sweet snacks outside of meal times, try to rinse your mouth by drinking water or milk, which can help wash away decay causing sugars from your teeth.

 

Morning sickness and reflux

It is estimated that 80 percent of pregnant women will experience some form of morning sickness during their pregnancy. Looking after your teeth might be the last thing on your mind while in the throes of morning sickness. However, doing so can help prevent longer term problems with your teeth.If you are vomiting or experiencing reflux on a regular basis, your teeth will be exposed to strong stomach acids, which can cause

dental erosion.

 

To help minimise the risk of erosion and decay try the following:

  • Don’t brush your teeth immediately after vomiting. Strong stomach acids can soften your tooth enamel and the vigorous action of the toothbrush may scratch the tooth enamel, leading to further damage. Wait at least an hour after vomiting before brushing your teeth
  • Rinse your mouth with water (preferably fluoridated tap water) after vomiting, which will assist in removing acids
  • You can lightly smear fluoride toothpaste on your teeth. Alternatively, rinse with an alcohol-free fluoride mouthwash, which will help to provide additional protection against stomach acids
  • Your dentist can provide further information and individualised advice