Importance of Oral Health before and during pregnancy

"Prenatal oral care is of vital importance for both the expectant mother and the baby that is forming. The visit to the dentist is part of the integral care during the pregnancy. It is advisable that every woman have an oral examination at the beginning of pregnancy, although ideally, women who plan to have a child undergo a dental check-up before becoming pregnant and start preventive treatment as soon as possible. "

During the first trimester of pregnancy, between 75 and 80% of women experience nausea and vomiting. Stomach acids can cause a loss of minerals and erode the tooth enamel, that is, the layer that covers the teeth; and they can also irritate the mucus that covers the inside of the mouth. To prevent this, after vomiting it is recommended to rinse your mouth with water or a spoonful of baking soda dissolved in a cup of water.

The hormonal changes of pregnancy increase the risk of developing cavities, especially in women smokers with nutritional and vitamin deficits; and can also affect the gums and cause pregnancy gingivitis. These changes and the use of some medications can cause dry mouth. On the other hand, the composition of saliva changes at the end of pregnancy and during lactation, which also predisposes to enamel erosion.

It is necessary to adopt measures to control caries and prevent the transmission of bacteria to the newly born. For this, good oral hygiene is essential. Brushing is recommended after each meal using a soft brush to prevent nausea, a toothpaste that contains fluoride, and the use of dental floss. It is advisable to follow a balanced diet, avoiding the consumption of foods with sugars and starches and soft drinks. To prevent nausea, it is convenient to eat fresh fruits, vegetables and yogurt.

When a woman is pregnant or has a suspicion of being pregnant, it is important to let her or his dentist know. Dental treatments should not be postponed in case of pain, infection, decay or any other emergency. As far as possible it is recommended to avoid radiographs, especially during the first trimester, but when they are urgent they can be taken adopting the appropriate protection measures. The doctor or dentist should be consulted before taking any medication. Tetracycline, for example, produces alterations in the coloring of the fetus’ teeth. Dental whitening is contraindicated with pregnancy, since bleaching agents release mercury from the amalamas and fetal malformations can occur.

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