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Pregnancy & Dental Care
By: Samantha Glaunert , Categories: Education,Healthy Tips , Comments Off on Pregnancy & Dental Care

The folks at the American Dental Association have a ton of consumer information on their website regarding pregnancy and dental care. Here is a summary:

Do I Change My Dental Routine?

Are you brushing twice every day with toothpaste that contains fluoride, and flossing once a day? If so, excellent! If not, this would be a really good time to begin a dental routine. Why? Because poor dental care during pregnancy can lead to gestational diabetes, intrauterine growth restriction, premature delivery, and preeclampsia, which is when a pregnancy includes high blood pressure, fluid retention, and proteinuria, which is when there is a abnormal amount of protein in the urine.

My Gums Are Bleeding

Your body changes during pregnancy, and almost 50% of all women experience pregnancy gingivitis, which is the beginning state of gum disease. This condition can begin during the second month and usually ends after childbirth. This is caused by irritation to the gums by plaque due to increased hormonal output. The best thing to do is to brush twice daily and floss daily as well.

Tooth Loss?

No, that’s a myth. If you lose a tooth during pregnancy, it’s probably due to an existing dental condition. Still, your teeth might feel a bit loose due to increased levels of progesterone and estrogen, which can loosen the bones and ligaments that are attache to your teeth. While this usually goes away after childbirth, it’s a good idea to give us a call if you feel something unusual is occurring.

Morning Sickness

Arguably, one of the worst things about pregnancy, morning sickness can strike any time of the day or night. Unfortunately, the acid contained in stomach can damage your enamel. If you get sick to your stomach, rinse your mouth out with water instead of brushing. If you wish, you can rinse your mouth with a mixture of 1 cup water and one teaspoon of baking soda. This will neutralize any acid that is in your mouth and on your teeth. Then, brush you teeth about a half-hour later.

Is it Safe to See My Dentist?

It certainly is! As a matter of fact, we recommend additional cleanings during the last two trimesters to combat gingivitis. As mentioned hormones can cause changes in your mouth and because of this, we like to see our patients at least once during their pregnancy. Let us know which trimester you are in, and if your physician has prescribed and medication for you.

Everything Makes Me Gag!

This is a common condition that accompanies pregnancy, and there are a few things you can do to minimize nausea so you can stick to your dental routine. Try brushing at different times of the day, rinsing your mouth before brushing, getting a toothbrush with a smaller head, or changing the flavor of your toothpaste. You need to stick to your dental routine because your teeth may be more susceptible to cavities, for reasons mentioned previously.

Caring For My Baby’s Teeth

During your second trimester, your baby’s teeth begin to develop. As mentioned in our fluoride blog, you will need plenty of vitamin A, C, D, calcium, phosphorous, and protein. Also, to avoid defects in your baby’s neural tubes, you should consider taking 600 mcg of folic acid and eat foods rich in that mineral, such as leafy greens, orange juice, rice, pasta, bread, and cereal. Also, don’t forget to drink fluoridated water. Check with your OBGYN on what is best for your unique situation.

Is It Safe To Get a Dental X-Ray

Yes, it is. We will cover you with an apron to protect you and your baby. We sometimes also cover our patient’s throats to protect their thyroid. Our practice uses the most current digital e-ray technology, which exposes our patients to about the same amount of radiation as you would experience during a 1-2  hour plane ride.

Dental Procedures During Pregnancy

Although it may become more uncomfortable sitting in a dental chair as your pregnancy progresses, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists believes that fillings and crowns are important procedures to have during pregnancy. This is to protect you and your baby from potential infections. Procedures like teeth whitening and those for cosmetic reasons should wait until your baby arrives.

Should you have any questions about pregnancy and dental care, please let us know!