Pregnancy and Your Oral Health

Dental_CarePregnancy can be a special, nearly magical time for expectant mothers and their families. Most women realize that taking extra steps to ensure good pre-natal medical care is a must, but not everyone knows that paying attention to one’s dental care is critical for both the health of the mother and her developing baby.

Here are a few things that pregnant women should make a note of when it comes to planning proper pre-natal dental care.

What to expect when you’re expecting

  1. Pregnancy hormones will impact your gums. Because the surge in hormones can cause gum inflammation, pregnant women are at greater risk for developing gingivitis. If left untreated, there is a correlation between gum disease in the pregnant mother and her delivering a low-birth-weight or premature infant. Pregnant women can also develop temporary non-cancerous irritations on their gums known as pregnancy tumors. It’s recommended that pregnant women schedule a cleaning during the second trimester to ensure their gums stay healthy.
  2. Morning sickness can make brushing challenging. If frequent bouts of nausea and/or vomiting is making teeth brushing sound unappealing, try using a more bland-tasting toothpaste. Also, make sure you’re washing out your mouth with water after you vomit to reduce the acid left on your teeth.
  3. Tell your dentist that you’re pregnant! No matter why you’re in the office, your pregnancy will impact your treatment plan. Your dental team will take extra care to protect your baby if X-rays are absolutely necessary, and your dentist will avoid prescribing antibiotics such as Amoxicillin, which can harm the development of an unborn baby’s teeth.
  4. Eat healthfully. Limiting sweets and eating a balanced diet fortifies both your health and ensures proper development of your baby’s teeth and bones.
  5. Schedule your dental care carefully. All elective procedures should be delayed until after your baby is born. Because of the critical development period late in the third trimester, treatments other than for emergencies should also be avoided during this time.

“Dental care during pregnancy is as important as all other pre-natal medical care,” says Dr. Carol Ford, a cosmetic dentist practicing in central Phoenix.

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