Expectant mothers have been reminded to pay attention to their oral health during their pregnancy this Dental Health Week, with research connecting severe gum disease in pregnant women and babies being born too early and too small.
Latrobe Community Health Service assistant manager of dental services Anita Pither said it was safe to visit the dentist while pregnant and keeping teeth and gums healthy during pregnancy was important.
“Lots of pregnant women experience bleeding gums because of hormonal changes, but this can sometimes get worse if good oral health habits are not maintained,” Ms Pither said.
“Some pregnant women also experience frequent nausea and vomiting. The acids in your vomit can cause tooth erosion, or the wearing away of the outer enamel of your teeth.
“It is recommended not to brush your teeth after vomiting, but to drink tap water and to rub toothpaste onto your teeth with your finger.”
According to statistics from Dental Health Services Victoria, about two thirds of pregnant women attending public dental clinics have untreated decay.
“There is no waiting list for pregnant women to attend one of our public dental clinics and cost is minimal,” Ms Pither said.
She reminded pregnant women to eat a wide variety of healthy foods and to limit snacking on sweet treats.
“Drink tap water and plain milk; both are good for your teeth and bones.
“Our dental staff can provide advice on how to avoid potential oral health issues during your pregnancy – it will be one less thing for you to worry about.”
Latrobe Community Health Service will hold an informational dental display at its sites during Dental Health Week, which runs from 1 to 7 August.
Latrobe Community Health Service operates public and private dental clinics in Warragul, Moe and Morwell.
To make an appointment, phone 1800 242 696.