The Importance of Dental Care During Pregnancy
The way women care for their oral health throughout their pregnancy can impact the wellbeing of their baby.
Pregnancy is a joyful time for many women across the nation. During pregnancy, the body experiences drastic changes in hormone levels. These changes can affect your dental health, so regular check-ups are especially important during pregnancy. When making an appointment, be sure to inform us of what month you are in; and during your appointment please let us know if you are taking any special medications and if your physician has given you any instructions that we should be aware of.
Generally the benefits of dental care during pregnancy far outweigh the risks; however, those who may have a high risk pregnancy or other medical conditions might have to postpone their treatment. Here are a few steps you can follow to create the best living environment for your unborn child:
Regular Dental Care
If you are planning to get pregnant, book an appointment to see your dentist before your conceive to have any necessary work done ahead of time. Having a checkup or getting your teeth professionally cleaned is considered safe during pregnancy, but if you are pregnant (or think you may be), let your dentist know. X-rays should be postponed if possible but, if they are needed, the dental office staff will provide a lead apron to protect the baby from exposure to radiation.
Keep an Eye on Your Gums
Hormonal changes during pregnancy can cause your gums to swell and become inflamed, making proper brushing and flossing extremely important during pregnancy. Let your dentist know that you’re pregnant during your appointment so that he or she can carefully examine your gums for signs of early gingivitis, which is a form of gum disease. It’s possible for periodontitis to trigger premature labor and delivery, so it’s vitally important to be on top of this.
If you notice swelling, bleeding or tenderness and you aren’t scheduled for an appointment soon, give us a call so that we can get you in for an exam.
Schedule Work for the Second Trimester
If you are having pain or another problem, call us as soon as possible, and we’ll get you in to treat you safely, no matter what trimester you are in. For routine matters such as simple fillings or cleanings, however, it’s best to schedule work during the middle of your pregnancy, if possible.
By letting your hygienist or assistant know that you are pregnant, you can avoid unnecessary dental xrays during your pregnancy. Routine bitewings can simply be taken after you give birth. If you need a root canal or another procedure that requires xrays, you will wear a lead shield over your abdomen in order to protect your baby from the radiation
Follow A Regular Hygiene Routine
Pregnancy does not mean you shouldn’t use fluoride, but rather you might consider using it more often if you do not have a dental hygiene routine firmly in place. You should brush your teeth a minimum of twice a day and incorporate flossing into your daily routine. Also, rinsing with fluoride mouthwash every day helps prevent gum disease.
Eating healthy food may sound more generic than dental specific, but constant snacking on sugary foods has a big impact on the teeth. Sugars get stuck between teeth and allow bacteria to grow, causing decay, gum disease and could impact a mother’s overall health. If you want optimal health for you and your baby during pregnancy, a solid diet is the best step to take.