There is a lot of emphasis on expectant mothers taking care of themselves during pregnancy, and providing important nutrients and care for both their own health and that of their baby during that formative time. One aspect of health care that is sometimes overlooked about prenatal care is oral hygiene. Here are some reasons why it is an important part of good health for both mother and child.
Bacteria can pass from you to your baby.
During pregnancy, it is possible for bacteria to travel through your bloodstream to reach your developing baby. Bacteria which naturally occur in your mouth can build up without good oral hygiene, and can end up reaching your unborn baby. Hormone changes during pregnancy can make it harder for your body to fight bacteria, therefore increasing your risks for infections and plaque buildup.
Gum disease can endanger your baby.
Pregnancy hormones increase the blood flow to your gums, often making them more sensitive and inclined to become swollen or irritated. This common condition is called pregnancy gingivitis, and if left untreated can advance to periodontal disease. Studies show that expectant mothers with gum disease have more risk of delivering babies prematurely, with low birth weight, or with infections.
Your baby’s teeth can be affected.
Eating a healthy diet including nutritious vitamins and minerals, as well as practicing good dental hygiene, will help your baby’s oral development. Infants begin the early stages of tooth development while you are in your first trimester of pregnancy, and your diet and dental care may impact your baby’s teeth.
Your health may be at risk too.
Periodontal disease that causes infections in your body can make you more susceptible to preeclampsia, which is high blood pressure and protein in your urine during the later stages of pregnancy. Preeclampsia can be fatal in some cases.
Read More »
With an estimated 49 million adults in the United States wearing dentures, there are lots of lessons learned about wearing them. Virtually everyone will say that it took a little adjustment time before they were comfortable and confident with their new teeth. It can help to know what to expect with wearing dentures at first.
Your dentures may feel very strange the first day you get them. They can seem too big for your mouth, and as though your lips are out of place. These strange sensations will disappear with time. You may also notice more saliva than usual in your mouth. This is a natural response of your mouth as it grows accustomed to the appliance.
A liquid diet is recommended by many dentists for the first couple of days after getting dentures. Then you may begin eating soft foods, like cooked vegetables, eggs, and fish. Take small bites and chew slowly. Avoid biting into foods with your front teeth.
Mouth soreness from your dentures should go away after a few days. If it lasts longer than a week, call your dentist to ask if you should be seen. You may experience minor mouth sores for the first couple of weeks that you wear dentures. This is normal as you give your mouth time to adjust. If the sores are severe, call your dentist.
Dentists recommend that you remove your dentures for a minimum of eight hours each day to give your gums a rest. Most patients do this at night while sleeping. Your dentist will provide instructions about how to care for your dentures and where to store them when not wearing them. Be sure to follow the instructions for care to ensure that your dentures last as long as possible.
Read More »
Are you unhappy with your smile because your teeth aren’t white? Do you have embarrassing discoloration and staining that prevents you from confidently smiling? If so, teeth whitening may be your answer. There are quite a few myths associated with this process, so let’s learn the truths about tooth whitening so you can determine if it’s right for you.
Myth: Normal household bleach is used on your teeth.
Truth: A special bleaching product is used that has low acidity and won’t harm your teeth. Plus, normal bleach is too dangerous; you could die if you swallow household bleach.
Myth: Whitening your teeth is unsafe for your mouth.
Truth: Cosmetic bleaching has bee done for many years, and is perfectly safe. It won’t harm your teeth or gums.
Myth: Whitening doesn’t really work.
Truth: Ask friends who have done it before, and you’ll find out this isn’t true. Teeth whitening is effective, especially if done professionally in a dentist’s office.
Myth: The only benefit is brighter teeth.
Truth: Your smile will become whiter and brighter, but an additional major benefit is a boost in your self-esteem. You will be happier with your dazzling smile, and will have a renewed confidence in yourself.
Myth: All whitening methods get the same results.
Truth: There are many options when it comes to teeth whitening, from whitening toothpaste to at-home bleaching kits to professional processes performed by your dentist. Whitening done professionally will give you quicker and more powerful results than most of the do-it-yourself methods. Talk with your dentist about options available.
Read More »
The choices that you are making today about your children’s snacks may be affecting their smile for a lifetime. Sugar is readily available, and can be hidden in snacks that you may not even realize it. It is common for many kids to snack on cookies and candy every single day, but you should realize that this isn’t just impacting their overall health but their oral health too.
A big part of the problem is that snack foods in the United States can be described in general as unhealthy. The main groups of snacks are chips, cookies, candy, crackers, and juice. Eating these foods once in a while is fine, but when it becomes a habit or addiction it can plague a person throughout life. You are likely aware that these items high in sugar, calories, and additives have been linked to obesity, but with time they also affect the teeth. Particles of food remain in the mouth after eating, and that residue creates an ideal place for bacteria to grow. This is the beginning of tooth decay.
Because it’s unrealistic to expect your kids to brush after every snack, choosing healthier snacks is a smart way to combat tooth decay. So what are some better snack choices? Carrot sticks, celery sticks, pickles, cucumbers, and other vegetables are good options. In fact, eating vegetables can clean your teeth while you eat because of the scrubbing action that occurs during chewing. Even if vegetable residue is left behind, it is not nearly as damaging to the teeth and gums as sugar or starches. Another good choice that appeals to most kids is fruit, such as apples, bananas, grapes, and oranges. Fruits do contain natural sugar that can remain on your teeth, but it is not as harmful as white sugar.
Helping your children change their snacking choices will go a long way in improving the health of their mouth as well as their whole body. While you’re at it, make sure that you are setting a good example and making healthy choices as well.
Read More »