I’m pregnant!!! Now what??? How will this affect my dental health?
The best advice a dentist could give you, is (when you are planning to get pregnant) to have a check-up and make sure that all, if any, dental problems are taken care of before you become pregnant.
Let your dentist know that you are trying to get pregnant, and of course, let him know as soon as you are pregnant as this will affect the treatment that he or the hygienist would normally schedule for you.
Generally, dental treatments would be suspended as a precautionary measure during the first trimester as this is a critical time for your baby’s development, and it is best to avoid any possible exposure to treatment that could in any way affect your baby’s growth. However, routine care can be carried out from the second trimester – though elective or major work should be deferred until after the baby is born if at all possible.
You will need to let you dentist know of any other updates in your medical records as well as any new medications or pre-natal vitamins your doctor has prescribed. Your dentist may have to alter some of your planned dental treatment as certain drugs can affect the development of the baby.
X-rays should be avoided if at all possible during pregnancy, though don’t be worried if for some reason you need to have one. Today’s technological advances make x-rays much safer, and your dentist will use extreme caution to safeguard you and your baby.
During your pregnancy, hormones and the many changes going on in your body will have an effect on your dental hygiene regime. Studies have shown that many pregnant women may develop pregnancy gingivitis. This is when dental plaque builds up on the teeth and irritates the gums. Symptoms of gingivitis include red, inflamed and bleeding gums. So, as there is growing evidence that gum disease could, in some rare cases, result in an underweight, premature baby, it is extremely important to take extra special care of your dental health and let your dentist know if you notice any of these symptoms.
If you are one of the unfortunate expectant Moms who suffer from morning sickness, remember to be especially vigilant in brushing/rinsing your teeth after vomiting to make sure that all the digestive fluids are removed from the surface of your teeth. There are also brands of bland tasting toothpaste that should help, if the flavor of regular toothpaste is keeping you from brushing your teeth.
The American Dental Association (ADA) has the following suggestions for dental work while pregnant:
- The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that pregnant women eat a balanced diet, brush their teeth thoroughly with an ADA-approved fluoride toothpaste twice a day, and floss daily
- Have preventive exams and cleanings during your pregnancy
- Let your dentist know you are pregnant
- Postpone non-emergency dental work until the second trimester or until after delivery, if possible
- Elective procedures should be postponed until after the delivery
- Maintain healthy circulation by keeping your legs uncrossed while you sit in the dentist’s chair
- Take a pillow to help keep you and the baby more comfortable
- Bring headphones and some favorite music to make the appointment more relaxing
All in all, it is very important to take good care of your overall health while pregnant of course. Just remember to make sure you pay special attention to your teeth.
We wish all of you pregnant ladies all the best. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us and we’d be happy to answer them for you.