12137517_MWhen you’re pregnant, your body undergoes major changes, some of which are obvious to you and other people around you, while some are invisible and undetectable. These changes are mostly due to your system adjusting to the presence of a foreign body – your baby growing inside you.

For you to be able to adapt to these changes well, it’s important to be in tip-top health throughout your pregnancy. Women know how important to it is to be more vigilant about protecting yourself, and therefore your baby, against catching diseases and getting sick. You would want to eat well, so you both can benefit from good nutrition. You would want to adapt a balanced, active lifestyle to strengthen your body and prepare it for labor, birth and finally, taking care of a newborn.

But there is one aspect of health that most pregnant women neglect: their oral health. According to a leading NY dentist, caring for the teeth and gums during pregnancy (or even outside pregnancy) is often the last priority because of the notion that caring for your teeth is “merely” an aesthetic issue.

OB-gynecologists stress two things: 1) Being pregnant can make you prone to teeth and gum disease, and 2) poor dental health, specifically periodontal disease,has been linked to having preterm, low-birth weight babies. Thus, it is absolutely essential that women make it a point to give their oral health extra attention during this critical time in their life.

The following are dentists’ tips on taking care of your teeth and gums while having a baby:

  1. Stay away from sugary food and stick to a diet rich in vegetables and fruits.
  2. Brush and floss religiously. Extra diligence about your oral hygiene is recommended.
  3. Schedule an appointment with your dentist immediately as soon as you learn of your pregnancy, so you’ll have more time for preparation in case some dental work needs to be done. Alert your dentist of any problem, such as bleeding gums or a toothache.
  4. Educate yourself on how you can take better care of your dental health and how to avoid dental emergencies.Understand how the state of your teeth and gums impact your baby’s health.
  5. Plot your dental health plan. Regardless of the health benefits and insurance products that you are eligible for, the fact is dental health services can be expensive, and can weigh heavily on the budget on top of the other medical expenses related to your pregnancy. Make sure you are sufficiently prepared for the essentials as well as potential emergencies.

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