If you are expecting a baby, you want to make sure that your body is as healthy as possible, for the wellbeing of you and your baby. This includes maintaining excellent oral health and practicing impeccable oral hygiene habits. Your health during pregnancy can actually be improved by good oral hygiene, which can also positively affect your baby. Changes in your body and hormones during pregnancy can put you more at risk for developing gum disease, so it is especially important to take great care of your teeth and gums. Below we will answer some common questions about Dental Care and Pregnancy.
Is Routine Dental Care safe during Pregnancy?
Routine Dental is safe during any stage of pregnancy. Most emergency procedures can be done during pregnancy as well. Your dentist will likely advise that any elective procedures be postponed until after your baby has been born.
It is important to tell your dentist that you are pregnant as well as the names and dosages of any medications or supplements you may be taking. You should also tell your dentist if your doctor or midwife has given you any specific medical advice or precautions to take. This information may affect the treatment plan that your dentist will make.
Dental X Rays are also safe during pregnancy. You can be confident that your dentist will take every precaution to ensure you and your baby are safe, such as using appropriate shields for your thyroid and abdomen. Technological advances have made X rays even safer over the past decade, so there is little risk to you and your baby.
While routine dental work is safe during any time of pregnancy, the second trimester is ideal for cleanings or fillings as that is typically the time when pregnant patients are most comfortable.
What is Pregnancy Gingivitis?
Dental checkups are as important as ever in pregnancy. Pregnancy causes hormonal changes that can put you at a higher risk of developing periodontal disease and tender gums that may bleed easily – a condition that is called Pregnancy Gingivitis. Make sure you are cleaning your teeth gently and regularly, especially at the gum line, where gum disease begins. Flossing is also particularly important to optimize the health of your gums. For the most part, pregnancy-related gum issues will resolve after child birth. If you experience swelling, bleeding or pain in your gums, talk to your dentist as soon as possible.
How Can I Cope with Morning Sickness?
Morning sickness can be a big problem for some during pregnancy, and can make brushing teeth difficult or unpleasant. Switching to a bland tasting toothpaste can help. Rinsing your
mouth with water or mouthwash if you suffer from frequent bouts of vomiting is important as continued exposure to stomach acid can weaken the surface of your teeth.
How Can I Eat Right for my Teeth and my Baby?
Strong cravings are common in pregnancy, particularly for sweets. It is important to practice moderation when it comes to snacks and treats in order to limit your chances of developing tooth decay. Eating a healthy, balanced diet is always important, but making sure you get enough calcium is particularly important in pregnancy. Your baby’s first teeth begin to develop around 3 months pregnant, and a well rounded diet full of essential nutrients and minerals will help ensure your baby’s developing teeth, gums and bones are well supported.
Make sure the foods you eat contain enough calcium, protein, vitamins A,C and D and phosphorus.
Why is Oral Health so Important in Pregnancy?
Studies have found a connection between gum disease in pregnant women and premature birth and low birth weight. Some estimates state that up to 18% of premature births could be caused by periodontal disease. Excellent oral hygiene habits and routine dental care can go a long way to reducing the risk of gum disease, tooth decay and premature birth. Contact our Guelph Dentist Office today to discuss your oral health and how we can best support you through a healthy and comfortable pregnancy.