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4 IMPORTANT TIPS ON DENTAL CARE

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You're in week 15 of your pregnancy and you're probably noticing a host of changes to your body. But how can you keep that sparkling bright smile?


We often undervalue the importance of dental health, but now that you're pregnant, it's more important than ever. Here's how to keep your pearly whites shining:


Make friends with your dentist


A visit to the dentist every six months is the norm even pre-pregnancy, so keep it up now that you're an expectant mum. The dentist can check your teeth and gums and give you a professional clean. You should ideally undergo any needed dental treatment in the second trimester. The first trimester is a key period for your baby's development, and in your third trimester it's not ideal to lie in a dentist's chair, as this position can affect your blood flow.


Three brushes and one floss


Brush after every meal, and floss once a day to keep your teeth clean and free of debris. You might not feel like attending to dental hygiene if you're experiencing morning sickness, but it's worth sticking to your cleaning routine. Sometimes the minty freshness of toothpaste may help your nausea.


Watch those food cravings

You may be more tempted to reach for sugary snacks during pregnancy, which is normal, but the increased sugar can heighten your risk of dental decay — so stay away from sugar highs as much as possible!

Pause the fillings


Inserting or removing amalgam fillings, also known as silver fillings, can expose you to mercury vapour, which some experts feel could pose a risk. So play it safe, and don't undergo any unnecessary dental procedures that use amalgam until after you've stopped breastfeeding. Your dentist can recommend alternative filling materials.


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By Associate Professor TAN Thiam Chye Head & Senior Consultant, Dr Janice TUNG Senior O&G Resident, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, KK Women's and Children's Hospital

Sources:
The New Art and Science of Pregnancy and Childbirth 2008, World Scientific
Healthy Start for your Pregnancy 2012, Health Promotion Board Singapore

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