“Motherhood: the toughest job you’ll ever love!” I fell in love with that saying when I saw it on a throw pillow as a young mom. Twenty-five years later, that pillow still has a prominent spot on our couch! Mother’s Day, May 8th, kicks off National Women’s Health Week. With that in mind, here are some tips to help moms take care of their oral health during different stages of motherhood!
Pregnancy is a very exciting tim! With it, however, comes some not so exciting hormonal changes. These changes can affect the health of our gums leading to swollen, tender, bleeding gums. Maintaining good gum health during this special time of pregnancy is crucial, therefore you may need to spend some extra time on your routine at home and additional appointments with your hygienist. Equally important is nutrition. A healthy diet, rich in calcium, will help not only the baby’s development but also protect your bones while the baby is developing. Bringing that new baby home is so exciting AND exhausting! Making time to take care of yourself also is very important. Brushing twice a day and flossing every night will help maintain that oral health.
Time seems to fly by and soon those babies are off to school, sports, and social activities. As you pack healthy snacks for those lunch boxes, juggle their busy schedules, and make their dental appointments, don’t forget to do the same for yourself. It’s easy to put our needs on the back burner when we’re busy taking care of our families but caring for ourselves is just as important. Our kids need healthy moms, and poor oral health leads to a host of other illnesses. Additionally, by caring for ourselves, we set a good example for our kids.
As we get older, we again face hormonal changes that can lead to bone loss and gum disease which can lead to tooth loss. Maintaining good oral hygiene and regular dental visits will prolong the health of your teeth by detecting disease at initial stages. Stress is also very damaging to our bodies, including our mouths, where we see signs of grinding. Your dentist can provide a custom mouthguard to prevent damage to your enamel. Exercise, good nutrition, and relaxation techniques are all beneficial.
As we celebrate moms this month, let’s remember these 3 essential tenets of a healthy smile: proper nutrition, great oral hygiene, and stress reduction. Happy Mother’s Day!