Naturally, it’s always important to take good care of your teeth and gums. While pregnant, however, it’s even more important to follow through with routine dental care. This is because pregnancy causes hormonal changes that increase the risk of developing gum disease, which could affect the health of your developing baby.
Much like any other type of healthcare appointment, it’s important that you maintain open and honest communication with your dentist if you are pregnant or planning to have a child. We’ve put together some tips and reminders to help you maintain good oral health before and during pregnancy.
Before The Pregnancy
If a pregnant woman has gum disease, it could affect the health of her unborn child. It’s ideal to make a dental appointment before getting pregnant. Your gum tissue and teeth can be professional examined and cleaned, and any potential oral health problems can be treated before your pregnancy.
Dental Care While Pregnant
- Check with your obstetrician before your dental appointment to see if she has any special precautions/instructions for you.
- As soon as you know, tell your dentist if you are pregnant (as well as your other health physicians). Routine dental care can be done any time during pregnancy, and any urgent procedure can be done, as well. However, all elective dental procedures should be postponed until after the delivery.
- Your dentist may need to alter your dental treatment plan based on the dosages of all drugs you are taking, including prenatal vitamins prescribed by your doctor. Tell your dentist the names and dosages of all drugs you are taking, as well as any specific medical advice your doctor has given you.
- Dental X-rays can be done during pregnancy. Your dentist will use extreme caution to safeguard you and your baby, such as shielding your abdomen and thyroid. Advances in technology have made X-rays much safer today than in past decades!
- Follow good oral hygiene practices to prevent and/or reduce oral health problems, of course! However, if morning sickness is keeping you from brushing your teeth, change to a bland-tasting toothpaste during pregnancy. Ask your dentist or hygienist to recommend brands. Rinse your mouth out with water or a mouth rinse if you suffer from morning sickness and have bouts of frequent vomiting, too.
- Avoid sugary snacks! While sweet cravings are common during pregnancy, keep in mind that the more frequently you snack, the greater the chance of developing tooth decay.
- Finally, eat a healthy, balanced diet. Your baby’s first teeth begin to develop about three months into pregnancy. Healthy diets containing dairy products, cheese and yogurt are a good source of these essential minerals and are good for baby’s developing teeth, gums and bones.
Don’t skip your dental checkup appointment simply because you are pregnant. Because pregnancy causes hormonal changes, you have an increased risk for gum disease and for tender gums that bleed easily – a condition called pregnancy gingivitis.
Pay particular attention to any changes in your gums during pregnancy. If tenderness, bleeding or gum swelling occurs at any time during your pregnancy, talk with your dentist as soon as possible. Even if you didn’t experience any gum problems during your pregnancy, see your dentist soon after delivery to have your entire mouth examined and gum health evaluated.
If you have any questions or concerns about dental care during pregnancy, call Winning Smiles to schedule an appointment with your dentist – 716-332-2444.