Suggestions to help you keep your teeth healthy throughout pregnancy plus information on baby tooth development, dental health care and coping with sensitive tooth ache.
- There is no truth that drinking milk during pregnancy will give your baby healthy teeth. However you should try keeping to a normal balanced diet, keeping sugar, fat and salt to a minimum.
- If you crave sweet or acidic foods, then pregnancy cravings may affect the health of your teeth. That is why it so important to keep your oral health up to date, by visiting your dentist and making sure you brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste.
- It is just an old wives' tale that you lose a tooth for every baby you have. Your gums are vulnerable during pregnancy because of the increased and different hormones. Your teeth may also suffer if you're prone to craving sweet food and drink. Just make sure you brush your teeth regularly and visit your dentist if you have any problems.
- There is no evidence that breast milk is affected by dental treatments.
- Your gums may bleed during pregnancy because of the increased and different hormones in your bloodstream. However, they will only bleed as a result of plaque accumulation close to the gum tissue. That is why brushing regularly with a fluoride toothpaste is even more important during pregnancy.
- Gingivitis usually results from the bacteria in plaque causing gums to become inflamed and swollen. Symptoms are usually bleeding when you floss, and puffiness in the gums. Again, brushing regularly with a fluoride toothpaste and keeping your teeth clean should help you avoid this problem.
- There is little benefit derived from taking fluoride during pregnancy as it doesn't easily cross the placenta
- Your baby's first teeth will start to come through any time between six months and a year. All milk teeth should all be through by the age of three.
- Although milk, either breast or dairy, is generally safe for teeth, if it is available constantly, particularly through the night and the baby is weaned late, it can cause decay in the child's first teeth.
- You should take your baby to the dentist as soon as you can, to get them used to the sights and sounds. If it's part of their routine from an early age, chances are they'll keep up the habit. It will also be an incentive for you to go as well!
- If your child sucks his thumb or a dummy for long periods, it could cause problems in the way the teeth develop. The pressure of the thumb or dummy against the back of the teeth could push them forward, which may mean your child will need corrective treatment, like a brace or having teeth removed, later on. Try to wean your child off sucking his thumb or a dummy as he grows older.
- Remember, never be tempted to dip your child's dummy in anything, especially something like sugar or fruit juice. Prolonged contact with the teeth could cause real damage.
- Good dental health from an early age will set your child up for life. As soon as the teeth start to come through, you should start brushing them. You can buy special brushes for babies and you will need to buy special toothpaste, too. Do not use your own toothpaste, as this will have too much fluoride in it. Your dentist or hygienist will be able to show you how best to brush your child's teeth, this will also help in getting your child used to going to the dentist from an early age.
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