SHOULD YOU SEE YOUR DENTIST WHILE PREGNANT?

If you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, you should continue to see your dentist. You should inform your dentist so he or she can help you achieve optimal dental care during pregnancy for yourself and your baby.  During pregnancy, it is common to have increased gum bleeding, aphthous ulcers, and raised lesions formed on your lips, cheeks, and gums.  It is recommended the pregnant mom continue their regular 6 month exam and dental cleaning schedule as recommended by your dentist and/or physician.

Your dentist may decide to postpone elective treatment (dental treatment that is not considered urgent, i.e. routine fillings, whitening, cosmetic dentistry) or regular checkup x-rays until the baby is delivered. If there are oral conditions that is causing acute pain and discomfort, you should consult with your dentist and care provider about treatment and relief, as excessive pain may cause your body’s epinephrine to increase, which may in turn affect the fetus.

Dental Tips for Pregnant Moms

  • Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste to remove plaque buildup.
  • Use floss daily to help remove plaque between the teeth.  A waterpick may also be helpful to remove plaque and bacteria stuck between your teeth.
  • Inform your dentist and physician of any changes in your health, medication, and diet.
  • Any elective dental procedures should generally be delayed until you give birth.  If dental treatment is necessary, your dentist and obstetrician will advise you of any precautions to be taken.
  • Despite what you may have heard, calcium is not “taken” from the mother’s teeth and “given” to the baby.
  • Some moms may develop pregnancy gingivitis, gum inflammation that may include swollen and bleeding gums.

Pregnancy Gingivitis

  • Pregnancy gingivitis is gum inflammation induced by the mother’s fluctuation in estrogen and progesterone.  Symptoms may include swollen and bleeding gums, painful teeth and gums, and gingival recession.
  • Pregnancy gingivitis is common during the second through eighth month of pregnancy.
  • Your dentist may recommend more frequent dental cleanings if the gingivitis promotes excessive bleeding and plaque buildup.

Nutrition Tips for the Mother

  • Your baby’s teeth develops during the first trimester, hence adequate calcium and vitamin D intake is important for baby’s optimal teeth development
  •  A well rounded diet during all trimesters of pregnancy is needed for your baby to develop his or her teeth.  A balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, dairy, lean proteins, and essential fats is recommended.
  • Morning sickness and nausea can make morning brushing difficult.  Be sure to consult with your dentist and obstetrician if you are not able to brush in the morning.
  • Be sure to drink abundant amounts of water and calcium.  Water is good for your body and your baby’s development.  Daily intake of water will also help rinse your teeth of plaque when you are not able to brush and floss.

 

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