What To Expect At The Dentist… When You’re Expecting
If you’re pregnant, you’re probably worried about anything and everything that may affect your baby, especially if you’re a first time mother. But when it comes to your dental care, there’s no need to worry!
Annual exams and preventive dental care during pregnancy are not only safe, but recommended. In fact, you need to pay special attention to your dental health while pregnant, as your teeth and gums can be affected by the hormonal changes that take place during pregnancy.
Watch Out For These Things During Pregnancy
Morning sickness and increased levels of progesterone can result in some dental problems for pregnant women. Here’s what you should be on the lookout for:
- Pregnancy gingivitis—an inflammation of the gums—occurs because of changing hormone levels. Some women may experience bleeding when brushing or flossing and red, swollen gums.
- Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is caused by bacterial infection that develops below the gum line. This disease damages the fibers that hold your teeth in place and can also affect the health of your baby. Studies have shown that expectant mothers with periodontal disease are at a higher risk of premature delivery and lower birth weights.
- Dry mouth comes from a decrease in saliva caused by hormonal changes. Chewing sugarless gum can help increase saliva production.
- Erosion of tooth enamel is always a risk associated with vomiting. As morning sickness and frequent vomiting are common during pregnancy, enamel erosion on the back of the front teeth is more likely to occur.
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How To Care For Your Teeth When Expecting
So, how do you avoid the dental problems that can arise during pregnancy? Easy: be consistent in your normal oral care routine!
- Eat healthy. Nutrition is important for your teeth, as well as the teeth of your developing baby. A nutrient-rich diet is the best thing you can do for your oral and overall health.
- Brush regularly. As usual, brush at least two times a day for two minutes, and if possible, brush with toothpaste that contains fluoride.
- Floss. Need we remind you? Flossing at least once a day helps prevent pregnancy gingivitis.
- Use mouthwash. Antimicrobial mouthwash fights the bacteria that contribute to gingivitis and periodontal disease.
- Tell your dentist you’re pregnant. If X-rays, medication, or anesthetics are being considered, your dentist can weigh the risks and do what’s best for you and your baby.
- Visit your dentist. Preventive dental care while pregnant is essential to avoid oral infections. When you find out you’re pregnant, make an appointment and speak to your dentist about how you can avoid pregnancy-related dental problems.
Expectant Mothers Can Trust Our Practice
Visits to your dentist during your pregnancy are just as important as visits to your healthcare provider. We care about the dental and overall health of you and your child. So, between trips to the doctor and Babies-R-Us, don’t let visiting the dentist fall off of your pregnancy to-do list!