Parenting · Pregnancy

Oral Health before Pregnancy

individual smiling happily with dental floss in bathroomDid you know that healthy teeth and gums affects your overall health and well-being?  This is especially true if you are pregnant as gum problems can increase the risk of having a pre-term or low birth weight baby.  Affected babies are also at a higher risk of having asthma, ear infections, and developmental issues.

If you are planning a pregnancy, it’s a good idea to have an oral check-up before you conceive.  An early assessment will allow your dental health professional to diagnose and treat any oral health issues before you become pregnant.   Discuss treatment options, risks and benefits with your dentist if procedures such as x-rays and medications are required during your pregnancy.

Tips to maintain good oral health:

  • Brush teeth at least 2 times a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste to remove plaque (a sticky substance that contains bacteria) on the teeth and along the gum line. Fluoride makes teeth stronger.
  • Floss once a day to remove plaque and food particles trapped between the teeth
  • Brush and floss at night before going to sleep
  • Eat a well-balanced diet low in sugar (especially as sweet, sticky snacks between meals)
  • Drink tap water between meals and snacks instead of sugar-sweetened beverages. Toronto’s tap water is fresh, clean, good for your teeth, and available at a tap near you!
  • Avoid alcohol and all tobacco and tobacco-like products

Prevention or treatment before pregnancy can help individuals maintain good oral health and prevent complications during pregnancy.

If you have any questions on caring for your teeth, call Toronto Public Health (416) 338-7600.

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