Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Be Thrifty, remember that Dental Treatment is free for Pregnant woman and a year after

Pregnancy plays havoc with our bodies, well it did mine.  It particularly did a number on my teeth, however, it does pay to remember that in the UK you get free dental treatment on the NHS during pregnancy and after for a year.

Vivienne Egan who writes for Ethicare Dental has some great tips on looking after your teeth during pregnancy and why pregnancy can affect your teeth.

The extra hormones firing in your body means that your gums can soften and bleed, leading to gum disease such as gingivitis, as well as tooth sensitivity and other issues which can affect both you and your baby if not addressed properly – studies are underway to find out if there is a link between gum disease and low birth weight.
So how should you look after your gums and teeth during pregnancy?
  • Have a dental check-up early in the pregnancy. Don’t stress if you need any work done, as it is safe to have fillings and other treatments during pregnancy, however consider having the work done earlier rather than later – it will be less comfortable to sit in the dentist’s chair as the pregnancy progresses! You may have heard the myth that breast milk can be affected by dental work, but it is just a myth.
  • Consider your teeth if you have sugary cravings during pregnancy! It is worthwhile carrying a toothbrush and paste with you.
  • If you are suffering from pregnancy illness, you may be very tempted to brush your teeth straight after being sick, but don’t forget that stomach acid can cause erosion to your tooth enamel, and brushing will compound this issue. Have a glass of water instead, and use some mouthwash to wash the nasty after-taste away.
  • You can take a fluoride supplement during pregnancy, as there is very little chance that it will cross the placenta or affect your baby’s growth.
With so much to think about during pregnancy, it may be easy to let your dental hygiene fall by the wayside, but it is essential that you consider your teeth and gums because they are a major way to assist your overall health and the health of your baby by maintaining good habits.

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