When you become pregnant, things about your body start changing in both small and big ways. And while you may be focused on visiting other doctors to monitor the progress of your pregnancy and your baby’s health, it’s also essential to continue visiting your dentist on a regular schedule. At Peace Haven Family Dentistry, we want to help ensure that your oral health stays in prime condition.
Why Dental Care During Pregnancy Is Important
With so many changes going on, you may not think that your teeth can be affected. However, a developing fetus is known to “rob” its mother in order to receive much-needed nutrition. So, it’s essential for a mother to take care of herself more than ever. Being pregnant can put you at greater risk of dental problems, such as lower levels of calcium and cavities. In addition, gum disease alone can put you at a greater risk for pre-term birth. So, you’ll want to keep your mouth as healthy as possible.
Staying Healthy During Pregnancy
During this special time, you’ll want to take extra care of your oral health—for both you and baby. Continue your normal practice of brushing at least twice daily, flossing at least once daily, and visiting your dentist every six months.
In addition, you’ll want to increase your intake of a variety of vitamins and minerals for a healthy mom and baby—and for strong baby teeth (which start to develop inside of their gums at about three months along).
- Vitamins A, C, and D
- Dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt, etc.)
Oral Health Issues Can Develop During Pregnancy
If your gums become swollen, food can find more places to get trapped. Then your gums may be prone to disease or infection. Morning sickness can also introduce stomach acid onto your teeth, which can eat away at tooth enamel.
The changing hormones in your body can also be at the crux of many problems that arise.
- Swollen gums
- Gum disease
- Eroding tooth enamel
- Tooth loss (rare)
We recommend a natural, homemade oral cleanser for pregnant women: add one teaspoon of baking soda to a glass of water. Then rinse to keep your mouth clean and fresh. If you have an aversion to the taste of toothpaste during this time, we can suggest a more bland-tasting toothpaste to try.
Before and During Your Dental Visit
Visiting your dentist for your regular six-month dental exam and cleaning creates no risk at all to mother or developing baby. When visiting your dentist while pregnant, you’ll want to let your dentist know the following:
- How far along you are in your pregnancy
- Any medications and/or supplements you are taking
- And if you are experiencing any oral issues.
And if you think there’s any chance you could be pregnant, it’s also important to tell your dental provider. To prevent unwanted side effects, you will want to avoid all non-essential X-rays (dental or otherwise) until after your baby is born.
It’s usually best to put off any additional dental work until the second trimester. Your dentist will discuss your options for pain medication, local anesthesia, or X-rays, if needed. And we do recommend that you delay any elective dental procedures until after your delivery.
Let’s Work Together to Keep You and Baby Healthy During Your Pregnancy.
Schedule your pregnancy appointments in advance!