Starting pregnancy with healthy teeth and gums is clearly very important, but women also need to watch out for any deterioration in their oral health during pregnancy. Hormonal changes associated with pregnancy can increase the stickiness of the bacteria-containing film (dental plaque) that coats the teeth, with a corresponding increase in the oral bacteria that cause gum inflammation. This so-called ‘pregnancy gingivitis’ has been shown to affect 60-75% of pregnant women  and in some cases can progress to periodontitis, increasing their risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes and other health conditions . That makes it even more important to maintain oral health and keep a close check on things.
Pregnant women suffering from morning sickness should also rinse their mouth with water after vomiting, and then wait at least an hour before brushing . Immediate brushing simply spreads acid reflux around the mouth, increasing the extent to which it can eat into the tooth enamel, whereas rinsing with water immediately dilutes and expels the acid.
Dental professionals say that brushing well for two minutes twice a day and regular dental check-ups are the best ways to combat the build-up of dental plaque and prevent pregnancy gingivitis . Nevertheless, there are additional steps that pregnant women can take to maintain good oral health, such as regular flossing or switching from a manual to a power toothbrush. For the best oral care, Philips recommends our most advanced electric toothbrush with SenseIQ technology, designed to sense, adapt, and care for a personalized brushing routine.
For the sake of your own and your baby’s health, maintaining healthy teeth and gums is an impactful step that every pregnant woman can take.
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 West Virginia Healthy Start/HAPI Project: Helping Appalachian Parents and Infants
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