With so much going on and so many changes happening to your body, it’s tempting to forego dental checkups or treatments while you are pregnant. However, it’s because of these hormonal changes and challenges that taking care of your oral health is key while you are expecting! Let’s have a look at some of the do’s and dont’s of oral health care to help make this a positive and healthy time of your life.
Oral Healthcare Do’s:
Before you become pregnant, visit us for a preventative cleaning and checkup. This exam is both safe and highly recommended! As your hormone levels rise, your gums can become sensitive or swell, making you may be more susceptible to gum disease that can also affect a developing baby’s health. We will use the appointment for a health check, oral exam, and answer any questions or concerns you may have.
If a cavity is discovered or you suspect you may need a filling, visit our office to get that checked out and treated while you’re expecting. It is safe to take care of almost any dental issue, including needed X-rays, while you are pregnant. The key is to avoid any chance of infection that could spread to your growing baby. Fillings, crowns, and other dental work are safe to undertake while you are pregnant!
Continue to brush your teeth twice each day with fluoride toothpaste and floss regularly. Plan to also carry on with your six-monthly checkups while you are pregnant. These essential oral health appointments will allow us to work with you to ensure optimal oral health and wellbeing.
If you feel nauseous during your pregnancy, try and eat small amounts of nutritious foods several times each day instead of three big meals. If you are sick, use a teaspoon of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) in a glass of water to rinse your mouth and help neutralize acid. If baking soda isn’t handy, simply rinse your mouth out well with water. Try chewing sugarless or xylitol-containing gum after you eat to prevent transmission of bacteria to your baby.
If you are considering becoming pregnant or are pregnant, let us know! We are here as part of your overall health team to help you enjoy a safe experience during this crucial time. As always, we have ways to help you feel more comfortable during your dental visits including private rooms, headphones and TV monitors, neck rests, and blankets.
Oral Healthcare Dont’s:
Most importantly, don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any concerns or dental health issues while you are pregnant! This is a changing time for your body and can cause unexpected changes to your oral health, such as temporarily loosened teeth, unexpected cavities, or gingivitis. We are here to help and work with you while you are pregnant!
While the American Dental Association considers many dental treatments safe during pregnancy, you will have the option to postpone any non-urgent dental work until after your baby is born. As everyone has bacteria in the mouth, dental work can sometimes cause bacteria to enter the bloodstream and travel throughout the body, including a developing baby. We want to avoid any risk as your body is busy helping your new child develop! Cosmetic or chosen treatments, such as teeth whitening, should also be delayed until after the baby is born.
Don’t self-medicate if you are experiencing any oral or dental pain. Contact our office for a visit where we can check any issues and work with you to correct a problem or help you manage any discomfort. If any pain relief is required, many options are deemed safe to take while pregnant. We will work with you and your physician to ensure a safe strategy is developed to reduce pain while minimizing risk.
Work to avoid sugary snacks, sodas, or candy while pregnant. As with any other time, these “empty calories” offer minimal nutritional value and can accelerate tooth decay. Your baby’s first teeth start to develop about three months into your pregnancy. Help your child build strong, healthy teeth, gums, and bones!
Your oral health and that of your growing child are essential to overall wellness during pregnancy. We understand you may have concerns, and we are here to help you along the way to stay healthy and feeling great! Contact us for a check-up or cleaning – we look forward to hearing from you!