Many women suffer from bleeding or swollen gums when they are expecting, which is why it’s important to look after your dental health during pregnancy.
Hormonal changes can make your gums more vulnerable to a build up of plaque, leading to inflammation and bleeding, which can also lead to serious gum disease, such as gingivitis or Periodontitis.
Dental care is free during pregnancy and until one year after your due date. To get free dental care, you need to apply for a maternity exemption certificate (MatEx). You should ask your doctor, nurse or midwife for form FW8. You must complete parts one and two of the form, and your doctor, midwife or nurse will need to sign it to confirm that the information you’ve given is correct.
Here are some tips on how you can look after your teeth and gums during pregnancy:
- Make sure that you clean your teeth twice a day for two minutes. If you are unsure on how to clean them effectively, ask your dentist to show you a good brushing method to remove all the plaque or try watching a YouTube video that will show you correct brushing methods.
- Invest in a small-headed toothbrush with soft filaments, if you don’t already have one and make sure it’s comfortable to hold.
- Avoid having sugary drinks and sugary foods too often.Try and drink lots of water, as it’s much healthier and sugar free.
- If you’re hungry between meals, snack on vegetables and avoid sugary or acidic foods.
- Avoid mouthwashes that contain alcohol.
- Stop smoking, as it can make gum disease worse and can also harm your unborn baby.
If you suffer from morning sickness make sure you rinse your mouth afterwards with plain water. This will help prevent the acid in your vomit attacking your teeth. Do not brush your teeth straight away as they will be softened by the acid from your stomach. Wait about an hour before doing so.