Sept 25, 2019 | Mom Life
Dr. Amanda Tavoularis (dentably.com)
Pregnancy is a big step in a woman’s life, and there are likely countless things on your mind. One of those things should be your diet. Diet is important during everyone’s life, but is especially important during pregnancy; you’re eating for two after all! While your body will thank you for a good diet, your mouth will as well. The fact is that diet plays a huge role in oral health, which in turn is important to maintain during your pregnancy.
It’s often overlooked, but many health issues stem from poor oral hygiene. I’ve been a dentist for the past 20 years, and work with women every day to help them balance their diet when pregnant and maintain a healthy mouth. Here are my tips for why oral health matters when you’re pregnant, and what you can do to support good oral health.
Why Diet Matters
It’s hard to overstate the importance of your diet as it affects nearly everything your body does. During your pregnancy it’s important to make sure you’re eating healthy so that you and your growing baby get the nutrients needed. The foods you eat have a direct effect on your body and how it performs. Staying on track with your diet is so important to overall oral health.
You also have to worry about your gums and teeth. A poor diet is a leading cause of such ailments as gum disease. Gum disease is especially problematic for pregnant women because it has been directly linked to premature birth. This is just one example of how poor oral health can directly affect the health of your pregnancy.
How to Eat Healthy
The key to eating healthy is to focus on eating a well-balanced blend of whole foods rich in nutrients. This means doing your best to stay away from processed foods, and including things like vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains in your diet. When in doubt, ask your doctor or a dentist and they would be more than happy to guide you to healthier eating.
You also want to do your best to avoid eating foods high in sugar. Sugar is a killer for teeth, and in general is not good for your body. Lowering your sugar intake is a good step towards proper oral health. This also includes soda as these are absolutely filled with sugar and empty calories.
Another big step towards ensuring proper nutrition is taking prenatal vitamins. These are specially formulated to provide nutrients that pregnant women and their growing babies need. These can also help with oral health by providing nutrients your body needs to repair any damage to your teeth or gums. Once again, talk to your doctor to see what they recommend at different stages of your pregnancy.
Keeping a balanced diet is a big step towards a healthy body and mouth during your pregnancy. We are what we eat, as the saying goes, so make sure you’re packed full of good stuff and cut out the junk. This can be difficult with pregnancy cravings, but is well worth the effort.
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Kirsten Pierce, certified registered nurse anesthetist, mother to two amazing children, wife of an incredible husband and dog-mom of two fur babies, a Great Dane named Finnegan and a Lab mix named Layla. Besides her role of ‘super mom,’ Kirsten has now added the...