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Hygiene and oral health during your pregnancy

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Good hygiene during your pregnancy will help prevent infections, keep you comfortable and make you feel more refreshed.​

Hormone changes during pregnancy can cause:

  • Increased perspiration
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Dry, scaly skin

Here are some basic hygiene tips:

  • Apply lotions or creams immediately after bathing or showering to soothe and soften your skin
  • ​Good hygiene will help prevent vaginal infections, but never douche during pregnancy unless your provider specifically tells you to.
  • Put a rubber mat in the tub or shower to prevent slipping. Tub baths may become more difficult near the end of pregnancy when your center of balance shifts. You may want to switch to showers or have someone help you in and out of the tub safely.
  • Keep the water temperature warm when you bathe or shower because hot water may make you feel dizzy or lightheaded.
  • Avoid hyperthermia (high body temperature). There is some evidence that hyperthermia in early pregnancy may cause damage to the fetus. You may be able to tolerate short stretches in a sauna or hot tub, but the temperature should not exceed 102°F and your exposure should not exceed 10 minutes.

Dental health

Dental health​​​​ is an important part of your total health. Dental disease can increase your risk of certain pregnancy complications. Here are some helpful pointers to make sure that you have the best oral health:

  • See your dentist as early as possible in your pregnancy to be checked for tooth decay, gum disease and other dental problems, and to get the necessary treatment
  • You require special care and attention when you’re pregnant, so be sure to tell your dentist that you are pregnant
  • Discuss the benefits and risks of x-rays, anesthetic agents, pain medications, and other drugs with your dentist. Your dentist may recommend alternative procedures and treatments
  • If your drinking water is not fluoridated, ask your dentist or provider about fluoride supplements
  • Brush and floss your teeth at least once a day. This prevents tooth decay and will help you maintain healthy gums
  • Your gums may bleed more easily during pregnancy
  • An early dental examination followed by necessary treatment, good oral hygiene practices and a well-balanced diet will help you maintain bright and healthy teeth
  • Avoid sweets such as caramels, hard candies, sticky foods, and soft drinks. If you have some of these occasionally, brush your teeth, or at least rinse with water afterward. Sugar build-up in your mouth, even for a few hours, can contribute to tooth decay​