by West Coast Dental
Moms take care of everyone else in their families — often putting self-care on the back burner. As Mother’s Day approaches, it’s a great time for moms to start prioritizing self-care and taking care of their oral health is an excellent place to start.
Many busy moms let routine oral care slip because they put their family’s needs ahead of their own. Pregnant moms-to-be might put off routine dental visits, worried about whether they are safe for the baby. However, good oral health contributes to overall well-being. So, mothers and mothers-to-be need to prioritize their oral self-care. Let’s take a look at some good self care ideas for women.
1. Keep Up With Routine Oral Self-Care
If it’s been a while since your last dental visit, it’s time to schedule an appointment. Dentists recommend regular cleanings and examinations which can help them spot small issues before they become big problems.
Good home care is a crucial part of good oral care. Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss once every day (preferably at bedtime). Make sure you know the proper techniques for brushing and flossing.
Consider investing in an electric toothbrush. They are more effective at cleaning teeth than a manual toothbrush. Always use soft bristles — hard bristles can lead to gum recession.
Most people are good about brushing regularly, but they fall short in the flossing department. Try different types of dental flosses to find one that you like and will use. If you want to up your flossing game, consider investing in a water flosser. These devices spray water to help remove food and debris between teeth that can lead to plaque formation.
Dental Examinations and Cleanings
Even the most diligent tooth brushers and regular flossers can still develop cavities and gum disease. Without professional teeth cleanings, plaque builds up on and in-between teeth that even the most careful brushing and flossing cannot remove. These areas become a breeding ground for bacteria in the mouth. Left unchecked, this bacteria will begin to destroy your tooth enamel and cause gum irritation. Eventually, the plaque hardens into a substance called tartar which can only be removed with special dental tools. Leaving this substance on teeth can lead to gum disease.
Dental Care During Pregnancy
Pregnant women are right to prioritize their unborn baby’s health by eating a nutritious diet and abstaining from alcohol and caffeine. Many pregnant women wonder if it’s safe to visit the dentist while they are pregnant. The truth is that almost half of all pregnant women will experience some kind of gingivitis or mild gum disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), bleeding gums is fairly common during pregnancy, and this could be a sign of gum disease. Hormonal changes in the body during pregnancy make gums more vulnerable to bacteria.
There are other reasons for self-care for women who are pregnant. Medical professionals have linked gum disease to premature birth and low birth weight, as well as other conditions including preeclampsia, intrauterine growth restriction and diabetes.
2. Eat a Healthy Diet
Eating healthy and nutritious foods is an essential part of keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Remember that fruits, milk, cereals, bread and other “healthy” foods contain sugar or starch that can feed the plaque on your teeth. This is why it’s so important to brush after meals.
If you like to snack, keep in mind that foods high in sugar and carbohydrates such as bagels, juice and gummy snacks stick to teeth and feed the bacteria that live in the mouth. After eating, germs make acid that attacks your teeth for approximately 20 minutes. So, try to avoid grazing all day. If you are going to eat foods that are not good for your teeth, have your snacks all at once, then rinse with water — fluoridated, if possible — afterward.
Other nutritional oral health self-care ideas include:
- Drink lots of water to keep your body and your mouth well hydrated. Being well hydrated keeps saliva production up, and this can help naturally rinse away food particles and bacteria from your teeth.
- Eat foods from all major food groups including fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, dairy and lean meats. Keep treats to a minimum.
- Choose healthy snacks and drinks that are low in sugar. Avoid drinking soda and juice with added sugar.
Chewing gum with xylitol (a natural sweetener) can reduce cavity-causing germs in the mouth. Chew it throughout the day, especially after eating when you are unable to brush your teeth.
3. Turn to Cosmetic Dentistry
Are you looking for additional dental self-care ideas for women? Most people might be surprised to find out that cosmetic dentistry is not just for the rich and famous. You can have the flawless smile you have always dreamed about with one of our cosmetic dentistry services. From brighter smiles to repairing chipped teeth, we have a solution.
Teeth whitening is one of the most affordable cosmetic dentistry treatments around. So, it’s no wonder it is such a popular one. In addition to in-office teeth whitening, we offer at-home kits. These come with custom trays that provide a better result than any over-the-counter product.
Tooth-colored fillings are made of a resin medium that matches the color of your teeth. Tooth-colored fillings are perfect if you have a cavity that might be visible when you smile because they blend in so well. The same material can also be used for cosmetic bonding to fill in a chip or small gap in your smile.
Improving the look of your smile is the ultimate self-care for women. Veneers are ultra-thin shells of porcelain that cover the fronts of your teeth, camouflaging a multitude of flaws and leaving behind a straight, perfect smile. They are effective at hiding stained teeth that are resistant to whitening, reshaping teeth so they blend in better with your smile, concealing spaces or gaps and covering up crooked teeth.
Schedule an Appointment
Start your oral self-care routine by making an appointment for a teeth cleaning and examination. At West Coast Dental, we are here to help you have a smile that is healthy and beautiful. Call us at 888-329-8111 to make an appointment or book an appointment online. With a number of locations available, you can schedule your appointment at the clinic that is most convenient for you.
American Dental Association (ADA) – Water Flossing
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – Pregnancy and Oral Health
Clinical Oral Investigation – “Effect of chewing gums containing xylitol or probiotic bacteria on salivary mutans streptococci and lactobacilli“
Colgate – How to Brush Your Teeth Properly