Expecting a baby can be a stressful and exciting time for the mother. Of all the things to consider and learn, often dentistry keeps in the shadows. Unfortunately, the oral health of the mother can greatly affect not only how smooth pregnancy goes but also the well-being of the fetus’s dental development. Let’s examine the major dental dos and don’ts for expecting mothers.
Do’s for Pregnant Women
- Tell your dentist as soon as you find out your pregnant. As a general rule, dentists avoid any major procedures or dental cleanings for the first trimester and the back half of the third trimester. This also allows the dentists to pay special attention to the gums, which are greatly changed by the hormone swing during pregnancy. (Source: webmd.com)
- Make sure to let the dentist know about any and all medications and prenatal vitamins so they can alter your oral treatment plan.
- Keep your oral hygiene routine consistent, especially flossing as pregnancy makes the gums more prone to gingivitis and gum disease.
- Eat a balanced diet full of calcium-and-vitamin rich foods to keep baby’s development healthy and your mouth too. Baby’s teeth and bones grow in the third month of pregnancy, so the dairy products at the turn of the second trimester.
- Drink lots of water to avoid dehydration, and also use cool water to rinse your mouth out if morning sickness causes you to vomit so that all that stomach acid doesn’t eat away at your enamel.
Don’ts for Pregnant Women
- Don’t give in to cravings for sugary snacks. Over-eating sweets can cause overproduction of plaque and tooth decay.
- Wait to see a dentist if you notice any excessive bleeding or swollen gums, loose teeth or receding gums, consistent bad breath, or overly sensitive teeth. These are signs of gum disease, which pregnant women are more prone to.
- Ignore any changes of our oral cavity while pregnant. The hormonal changes during pregnancy make you at higher risk for periodontal disease and the more common pregnancy gingivitis.
- Over react if you find small, raspberry looking bumps on your gums that bleed a lot. These pregnancy gum tumors aren’t cancer, but women who get them get worried. Almost 100% of cases disappear as soon as the baby is born. Definitely see your dentist if you need reassurance.
- If you’re currently trying to get pregnant, schedule a time to get your exam and cleaning done before you do.
- Once you’ve had the baby and recovered post-birth, schedule a dentist appointment. This is especially important if you were having any problems with your gums during your pregnancy.
- Poor dental care during pregnancy have been linked with more serious conditions during pregnancy, including gestational diabetes, premature delivery, pre-eclampsia, and restriction of baby’s growth. (Source: Healthymouth.org)
- Some good news for pregnant women is that anesthetics are safe for both them and their baby. A 2015 study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association proved it by studying some pregnant women who used lidocaine shots and saw no increased risks associated with early birth rates or other baby-related factors. So if you need dental treatment during the second trimester and have some dental anxiety, that option is still open to you. (Source: Healthymouth.org)