Being a new mum is exciting, but it’s also stressful and tiring too. Often, it means putting your own needs aside for a while to meet the demands of your baby.
For example, many new mums stop brushing their teeth as often as they should, or neglect to go to routine dental visits. Unfortunately, this can cause your dental health to decline, and if you’re not careful then you can end up with a cavity or gum disease.
To keep your teeth healthy as a new mum, follow these simple tips.
1. Keep to your oral hygiene routine
Taking care of a newborn can be very tiring. There might be some evenings when you’ll feel like you won’t even have the energy to brush your teeth!
Despite this, you should still stick to your oral hygiene routine. That means brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day. Your teeth will thank you for it!
2. Don’t neglect your gums
Gum disease is a common complication of pregnancy. In fact, around two-fifths of pregnant women suffer from it. After giving birth though, the risk of gum disease usually returns to normal. Be careful though if you’re taking oral contraceptives though, as they can increase your risk of gum disease.
The best way to avoid gum disease is to also brush your gums thoroughly when you brush your teeth.
3. Keep going to routine dental checkups
Make sure to keep going to routine dental checkups during this busy time of your life. This means checkups every six to twelve months, or however often your dentist thinks is necessary.
Also, did you know that it’s free for new mums to see an NHS dentist? So you have no excuse not to go!
4. Tell your dentist if you’re breastfeeding
During pregnancy, women are often advised to postpone dental treatments such as braces, whitening and implants. X-rays are also discouraged for pregnant women because of the unknown effects on the fetus.
However, once you give birth then you’re free to have whatever treatments you want. Well – almost any treatment that is. You still can’t have any treatments that could affect your breast milk. This includes some medications, as they can pass on to the baby via your breast milk. So do make sure to tell your dentist that you’re breastfeeding so she knows which medications not to prescribe.
5. Don’t get dehydrated
Did you know that breastfeeding can cause dehydration? That’s because when you breastfeed, you’re giving some of your fluids to your baby.
Unfortunately, dehydration can cause problems for your dental health. That’s because a dry mouth is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. So if you’re breastfeeding, make sure to drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.
Being a new parent will be a magical chapter of your life. However, it will also be difficult and testing at times. But don’t let your oral health standards slip during this time though. It’s important to keep yourself in good health.
If you’d like to speak to a dental professional about any of the topics that we’ve raised in this blog post, then simply call one of our receptionists to make an appointment. We’ll be happy to see you – and of course your new baby!