If you recently found out you were pregnant, you are probably wondering how to maintain proper health for you and your baby. One important thing to do with your health is take good care of your teeth. Dental hygiene is essential to maintaining a healthy pregnancy for many reasons.

You Might Experience Gingivitis

Even if you had a perfectly healthy mouth before getting pregnant, you may now discover that when brushing and flossing your teeth that your gums keep bleeding. This is because many women experience a form of gingivitis that only occurs during pregnancy. This is the result of the hormonal changes that come with being pregnant, and it is hard to avoid. While you might not be able to avoid pregnancy gingivitis entirely, you can keep it at bay by paying close attention to your dental hygiene.

Dental Work is Limited During Pregnancy

You also want to take good care of your teeth and gums during pregnancy because if you end up needing major dental work, the experience can be quite different when you are pregnant. First of all, some of the more complicated procedures might not even be performed because they require types of anesthesia that doctors don't feel comfortable giving you during pregnancy. You are also limited with the types of pain relievers you can take during pregnancy, so even if you do have an extraction or root canal, the discomfort might be more severe when you can only take acetaminophen to relieve the pain.

You Have an Increased Risk of Tooth Decay

In addition to gingivitis, pregnancy also makes you susceptible to tooth decay. This is not only due to your hormonal changes, but also from your changes in dietary habits. For example, many women often increase their intake of orange juice during pregnancy, which is a highly acidic and sometimes sugary drink. If you are not used to it, your teeth might be at risk due to all the extra acid in your mouth. If you are throwing up a lot, that can also make you more susceptible to decay since vomit can also be acidic.

To protect your teeth and gums during pregnancy, start by brushing and flossing regularly. Drink plenty of water to get rid of the extra acid and sugar that might be coating your teeth. Also see your dentist as soon as you find out you are pregnant and don't skip any checkups. For more information, contact local professionals like Dr Michael Finkelstein Dental.