Conscious dental care during pregnancy is important

It’s important for you to take good care of your teeth and gums while you’re pregnant. Pregnancy causes hormonal changes that boost the risk of developing gum disease which, in turn, can affect the health of your developing baby.

Below are some tips to help you maintain good oral health before, during, and after pregnancy.

Before you get pregnant

Try to make a dental appointment before getting pregnant. That way, your teeth can be professionally
cleaned, gum tissue can be carefully examined, and any oral health problems can be treated in advance of your pregnancy.

Dental care while pregnant

  • Tell your dentist (and doctor) if you are pregnant. Routine dental care can be done any time
    during pregnancy. Any urgent procedure can be done, as well. All elective dental procedures,
    however, should be postponed until after the delivery. Before you have your dental appointment, check with your obstetrician to see if they have any special precautions/instructions for you.
  • Tell your dentist the names and dosages of all drugs you are taking, including medications and prenatal vitamins prescribed by your doctor, as well as any specific medical advice your doctor has given you. Your dentist may need to alter your dental treatment plan based on this information.
  • Don’t skip your dental checkup appointment simply because you’re pregnant. Now more than
    any other time, regular exams are important because pregnancy causes hormonal changes that put you at increased risk for periodontal disease and for tender gums that bleed easily, a condition called pregnancy gingivitis. Forty percent of women will develop gingivitis sometime during their pregnancy. If you already have significant gum disease, being pregnant can make it worse.
  • 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 or periodontist
    as soon as possible.
  • Follow good oral hygiene practices to prevent and reduce oral health problems, which include
    brushing at least twice a day, flossing once a day, and using an antimicrobial mouth rinse. If you
    are due for a professional cleaning, don’t skip it simply because you are pregnant. Now more
    than ever, professional dental cleanings are particularly important. Gum disease that doesn’t get
    better may need to be treated by a dental professional. Treatments may include antibiotics and
    excision of affected tissue.

Managing Morning Sickness

  • 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.
    Eating Right for Your Teeth and Baby!
  • Avoid sugary snacks. Sweet cravings are common during pregnancy. However, keep in mind that
    the more frequently you snack, the greater the chance of developing tooth decay.
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet. Your baby’s first teeth begin to develop about 3 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.

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