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Posted 12/20/2022 by DentalSave

Dental Care During Pregnancy

Dental Care During Pregnancy

When you are expecting a baby, it is important to take care of your oral health. The hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy can increase your risk of certain conditions, so dental checkups become even more important than usual. Here is a summary of everything you need to know about caring for your oral health during pregnancy.

Dental Conditions and Pregnancy

Some women develop a condition called “pregnancy gingivitis,” in which the gums become swollen and tender. If you have this condition, which is caused by pregnancy-related hormonal changes, you might notice your gums bleeding when you floss or brush your teeth.

If you experience pregnancy gingivitis, it is important to see your dentist for treatment, as the condition can get worse if you leave it untreated, and gum disease has been linked to premature birth. Your dentist might recommend that you attend more frequent dental cleanings during your pregnancy to prevent this condition.

Pregnancy also causes morning sickness and cravings for many women. If you vomit or eat more sugary foods while pregnant, you could be at increased risk of developing cavities. To protect your teeth, keep up a good dental hygiene routine of brushing and flossing and see your dentist for regular checkups.

When to Talk to Doctors About Dental Health and Pregnancy

While you are pregnant, you should continue to have regular dental checkups and cleanings. Let your dentist know you are pregnant at the beginning of the first appointment, so they can provide appropriate advice and treatment. You should also let them know about any medications, prescription or over-the-counter, you are taking.

If you have any concerns about your dental health during pregnancy, do not hesitate to schedule an extra appointment. If you have severe morning sickness that makes you vomit or affects the foods you are able to eat, you can also speak to your doctor.

Safety of Dental Treatments During Pregnancy

Many women worry that dental treatments during pregnancy could harm the baby. However, the benefits usually outweigh the risks. Ideally, dentists will try to schedule dental work during the second trimester, when the risks are lowest. However, sometimes emergency dental work is necessary to protect you and your baby from infections. It is safe for you to have a local anesthetic during pregnancy, although dentists try to avoid putting pregnant patients to sleep.

In general, it is best to postpone elective dental treatments, such as teeth whitening, until after your baby is born. Your dentist might recommend that you also postpone routine X-rays, or shield your abdomen to minimize the baby’s exposure to radiation. As long as you let your dentist know you are pregnant, you can be sure they will take every precaution to protect both you and your unborn child.

Special Dental Care Instructions During Pregnancy

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that pregnant women brush their teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, floss every day, and eat a balanced diet that contains plenty of vegetables and calcium and limits sugary foods. Keep up with your regular dental checkups and cleanings during the pregnancy, and be sure to let your dentist know you are pregnant. If you follow these steps, your risk of experiencing serious dental health problems during pregnancy will be minimized.

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