Being pregnant can be exciting, but it also brings on a whole new set of challenges. When it comes to your oral health, pregnancy causes hormonal changes that increase your chances of developing gum disease. If this occurs, it can have serious effects on your unborn baby. Luckily, there’s a number of things you can do to help reduce the risk. Here are 6 things you need to know about pregnancy and your oral health.
1.) Prenatal Care.
If your pregnancy is planned, one thing you can do for the health of yourself and your baby is to stay on top of your dental health before you get pregnant. That way, your pearly whites can be professionally cleaned, gum tissue can be examined, and any oral health problems can be addressed and treated ahead of time.
2.) Check With Your Doctor.
Routine dental care can be done at any time during your pregnancy, along with anything urgent. But, any elective dental procedures should be done after your baby is born.
According to the American Dental Association, having dental x-rays during your pregnancy is considered safe with appropriate shielding. Just be sure to let us know.
Additionally, before you have your dental appointment, talk to your OBGYN to see if they have any special instructions for you.
3.) Pregnancy Gingivitis.
When you’re pregnant, it’s important to pay even more attention to your teeth and gums. Pregnancy causes changes that put you at an increased risk for gum disease and for tender gums that bleed easily– a condition called pregnancy gingivitis. Pay particular attention to any changes in your gums during pregnancy. If tenderness, bleeding, or gum swelling occurs at any time– contact us as soon as possible.
4.) Morning Sickness.
If morning sickness is keeping you from brushing your teeth, try changing to a bland-tasting toothpaste. In addition, if you suffer from morning sickness and vomit frequently– rinse your mouth out with water or a mouth rinse. If you brush right after, you’ll risk damaging your tooth enamel.
Eating a healthy, balanced diet while pregnant is key. Believe it or not, your baby’s first teeth begin to develop about three months into your pregnancy. We highly recommend a healthy diet that contains dairy, since it’s a great source of essential minerals that will help to develop your baby’s teeth, gums, and bones.
For the sake of your own dental health, try and avoid sugary snacks as much as possible. Sweet cravings are common during pregnancy, but it’s important to keep in mind that the more frequently you snack– the greater your chances are of developing tooth decay.
6.) After Birth.
After you’ve had your bundle of joy, soon after delivery you should schedule an appointment to have your entire mouth examined and periodontal health evaluated.
From there, you can resume your normal dental care routine and continue to see us once every six months.
Make an Appointment
If you’re pregnant, thinking about becoming pregnant, or just need a check-up– you can make an appointment here. We look forward to seeing you!
Dr. Randall Burba is an American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry accredited dentist, with a practice in Salem, Massachusetts. He considers himself an artist–with teeth and beyond! He often paints, draws and has a passion for woodworking.