Trying to Get Pregnant? Brush and Floss!

by Pregnancy.org Staff

brushing teethWhen you were a little girl your mom pushed good oral hygiene. You need to thank her because she was saving more than your teeth! Keeping a healthy mouth is now linked to your fertility and can also affect your pregnancy.

Getting Pregnant Faster

An Australian study looked into the oral health of the mother and the average time it took to get pregnant. It took women with poor oral hygiene an average of two months longer to conceive than their healthier counterparts. Lead author, Professor Roger Hart says, "This is the first report to suggest that gum disease might be one of several factors that could be modified to improve the chances of a pregnancy."

There isn't an exact reason why dental health has an effect on fertility, but researchers believe periodontal disease releases an inflammatory chemical that may hinder a fertilized egg from implanting itself into the uterus.

After the Double Line

When you are blessed with those two lines you can also be "blessed" with unfavorable symptoms. The ordinary act of brushing your teeth can translate into a nightmare of nausea, gagging and bleeding gums.

Despite discomfort, keeping your gums healthy is extremely important. Periodontal disease has been linked to:

  • Preterm labor
  • Bacterial infection
  • Low birth weight

Are you're convinced you've got to keep your mouth clean now? Making little changes to your routine can help alleviate challenges brushing can present. Exchange your adult size brush for a more compact child size one. Strong minty toothpastes can really offend your tender senses! Try a few different brands of toothpaste to find one that you can tolerate. Mouthwashes that sting can also bring your nausea to a peak. Instead, try a less painful alcohol-free version. Sometimes just holding off on brushing until after breakfast can make all the difference!

Basic Dental Hygiene

See your dentist before you try to conceive. The best advice is to see your dentist before you're ready to try for a tiny tot. Complete all your necessary dental work before hand, and then you'll have a great start for a healthy pregnancy!

Keep up with your appointments. You can still safely have cleanings and minor dental procedures while trying to conceive or when pregnant. Your doctor and dentist can advise what's the safest course for you.

Keep it real! No need to go overboard on the daily routine. Zoye Marinopoulou, dental hygenist in Madison Park says brushing twice a day, flossing and using a salt-water rinse is more than enough to keep an already healthy mouth shiny and happy!

Keeping your dental health in check can help you get pregnant faster, keep that baby cooking longer and have that smile looking perfect for your first family photo shoot!

About the study results: Roger Hart, Gum disease can increase the time it takes to become pregnant. Obstetrics and Gynecology, vol. 114, no. 6, December 2009. More than 3,000 pregnant women were part of an unprecedented study conducted in Australia. Among other health considerations, they looked into the oral health of the mother and the average time it took to fall pregnant. It took women with poor hygiene an average of 2 months longer to conceive than their healthier counterparts.

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