Pregnancy and Dental Care
“Can I go to the dentist while I am pregnant?” This is a question we hear often at our practice. Many women wonder whether or not they can safely visit their dentist for dental treatment during pregnancy. The short answer is, “Yes, most dental treatments are safe” [notes the American Dental Association]. In fact, pregnant women are at a higher risk of developing tooth decay and gingivitis.
Did you know that poor oral health during pregnancy can contribute to “premature delivery, intrauterine growth restriction. [according to the American Dental Association]? Dental care is vital during pregnancy and is not something that should be overlooked or ignored.
While you are pregnant, you will have an higher risk of developing gingivitis and will be more likely to have tooth decay or cavities. Pregnant women experience more acid in their mouth due to morning sickness, which can lead to cavities during pregnancy. There is a tendency to have an increase in inflammation and swelling in the gums due to hormonal changes as well as plaque buildup, more likely due to easy gag reflex and hardship of the brushing and flossing of the teeth in the back of the mouth.
Taking Care of Your Teeth While Pregnant
Take care of your teeth while pregnant by making sure that you brush twice per day in the morning and evening as well as floss. With swollen gums, it is vital to floss to ensure that pieces of food are not getting stuck under the gums and creating additional swelling and inflammation. Flossing also helps to keep plaque and other periodontal diseases at bay. In the afternoon, using a mouthwash rinse can help keep bacteria away to limit your risk for infections, cavities and gingivitis.
Pregnancy Teeth Checklist
- Morning Brush for 2 Minutes
- Morning Floss
- Afternoon Mouthwash Rinse
- Evening Brush for 2 Minutes
- Evening Floss
Importance of Water
Water is an important drink for all people and necessary for proper hydration, but it can be really helpful for teeth. Drinking sugary drinks and acidic drinks can erode the enamel in your teeth. Water helps to cleanse the gums and teeth to remove bacteria. Keeping your mouth moist also helps with good oral health. Drinking water throughout the day is a good idea for pregnant women who want to have good oral hygiene. Staying hydrated throughout pregnancy is also important for your overall health as well as your baby’s health.
Let Your Dentist Know About Your Pregnancy
The safest way to ensure that all dental treatments are safe for your baby is to let your dentist know that you are pregnant or planning to get pregnant. A check up before pregnancy will help to treat conditions that might affect the pregnancy. If there are any treatments that should be postponed until after the baby’s birth, your dentist will be happy to let you know and schedule an appointment post-pregnancy. Generally more frequent hygiene visits will help you prevent unwanted gum disease or cavities.
Remember to take good care of your teeth during your pregnancy to stay healthy. Oral health should remain a priority during pregnancy.