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Essential tips for a healthy pregnancy

Looking after yourself during pregnancy will give your baby the best start in life. Follow these golden rules for a happy and healthy nine months

Posted: 21 February 2011
by Liz Stansfield

Pregnant mum brushing her teeth
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Look after your teeth and gums

Hormone changes and high levels of progesterone in your system during pregnancy can enhance bacterial growth in your mouth. It  can soften your gums making them prone to infection and infl ammation, known as gingivitis. If you're indulging your sweet cravings you're also adding more sugar to your diet which isn't good news for your teeth and gums either.

See your dentist

Dental care is free on the NHS during pregnancy and until your baby is 1, so when your pregnancy is confirmed,make an appointment to see your dentist. “When you ring up to book, tell the receptionist that you’re pregnant,” advises Dr Aditi Desai from the British Dental Association (www.bda.org) “Remember to take along your pregnancy exemption certificate that your midwife will give you so they don’t charge
you.”

If you do start to suff er from bleeding gums during your nine months, contact your dentist so it can be assessed and treated.

Brush when you can

If you’re coping with morning sickness and can’t stomach the taste of toothpaste early
on in the morning, don’t be put off doing it, just wait until the queasy feeling passes and
brush your teeth later on in the day when you’re feeling more up to it.

Brush well at night

In the evening your mouth produces less saliva, which is important to oral health and
keeping bleeding gums at bay, so brush your gnashers extra carefully before you
go to bed for the night. And don’t forget to use dental fl oss either – it’s a crucial weapon in the war against gum disease

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