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Pregnency and Oral Health

Pregnancy and Oral Health

 

Taking care of your oral health during pregnancy is very important.  Hormonal changes occur during pregnancy that can increase the risk of developing various conditions which can affect the fetus.

 

Before Pregnancy

 

It is vital to maintain good oral health prior to getting pregnant.  Regular dental cleanings and exams are essential in discovering conditions, such as gum disease, cavities, abscesses etc., that can affect the developing baby.  Earlier the concerns are detected, the easier they are to treat.

 

If you are planning a pregnancy and you haven’t visited the dentist recently, it is good time get a check-up and have your teeth professionally cleaned.  Any oral health concerns may be addressed in advanced of your pregnancy.

 

During Pregnency

 

Dental Care

 

Inform you dentist of your pregnancy, and all of the medications you are on (including the prenatal vitamins), and any medical advice given to you by your obstetrician. 

 

As a general rule, dental treatments during first and second trimester will be postponed.  However, in specific situations, the treatment will be performed to avoid infections from spreading to your developing baby.

 

Although, x-rays should be avoided, if they are necessary in case or emergency, or urgency, precaution must be taken.  Extreme cautions must be exercised in use of lead aprons digital radiography.  Digital radiography has significantly reduced x-ray exposure to the patient and has allowed emergency treatments to be much safer.

 

Regular cleanings and exam, during pregnancy, are more important than ever.  Hormonal changes occur during pregnancy, that predispose you to various gum conditions, including periodontal disease and inflamed gums.   Following home care regimen (brushing, flossing, water-jet irrigation etc.)  is now very important

 

If any unusual gum conditions arise, such as swollen gums, ulcers, or tumors, inform you dentist immediately.

 

Coping with Morning Sickness

 

Sometimes, morning sickness may keep you from your routine hygiene regimen.  I would recommend trying different types of toothpaste flavors.  There may be a flavor that tastes better to you and you may be able to brush longer.  Sometimes, children’s toothpaste, full of bright flavors, may do the trick.  You may spread out you brushing and flossing over a longer period of time.

 

Similarly, various mouth rinses with flavors may help combat the nausea.

 

Eating Right during Pregnancy

 

Eating a healthy, balanced diet is essential to your health as well as the baby’s health.  Although sweet cravings are common during pregnancy, avoid sugary snacks.  The more frequently you snack, the more chances of developing tooth decay.  Foods, such as dairy products, cheese and yogurt are good alternatives to sugary snacks.  They are also good for your baby’s developing teeth, gums and bones.  Remember, your baby’s first teeth start developing at the 3rd month of your pregnancy.