Expecting a baby is an exciting time in life. Perhaps you had dental work planned or you are in need of dental work. Should you continue with your dental work during pregnancy? The answer is yes.
Pregnancy causes a lot of changes in a woman’s body both physically and chemically. There is a link between a shift in hormones during pregnancy and can increase the risk of gum disease. If you are planning to get pregnant, talk to your dentist. Your mouth should be examined for any current oral problems.
What if I am already Pregnant?
If you are pregnant, tell your dentist. There are certain dental treatments that should be avoided during the first trimester. Routine dental care should begin in the second trimester. The benefit of having fillings and crowns completed during pregnancy is that doing so lowers the risk of developing an infection in the mouth. Since infection can be carried in the bloodstream to an unborn child, it is important that these things be taken care of in a timely manner. Any cosmetic work can usually wait until after the baby is born.
It’s important that your dentist know that you are pregnant. Dental x-rays should be avoided during pregnancy. Certain drugs shouldn’t be prescribed to a woman who is expecting because it will affect the development of the unborn baby.
If you notice changes in your gums, it is important to let your dentist know as soon as possible. Gums that bleed easily are subject to infection. Infection and certain meds can affect an unborn baby. Research shows that there is a small link between premature birth and gum disease. Gum disease affects close to 60% of pregnant women. Morning sickness can continue after the first trimester. Rinse your mouth out with water every time you vomit. This will rinse the acid out of your mouth and protect your teeth. If the taste of toothpaste makes your morning sickness worse, switch to a brand that does not have a strong taste. If you are unsure, ask your dental provider.
After the arrival of your baby, make an appointment to have your mouth evaluated by your dentist. At this time, any cosmetic or elective work can be scheduled.
The American Dental Association recommends that pregnant women eat a balanced diet low in sugar. Reducing sugar reduces the risk of tooth decay. Reducing tooth decay means reducing the number of fillings. Brush your teeth at least twice per day and remember to floss. Your dental provider can show you the proper way to use floss.
When choosing a dental provider, look for one that offers ways to relieve your stress. This is very important if you are pregnant. Look for a provider that offers a comfortable atmosphere, comfortable dental chairs, and music. A good provider will be sensitive to your needs. A great provider will be proactive in offering ways to relieve any stress or dental anxiety. Talk to your dentist about any concerns you have in relation to oral health or dental treatment during pregnancy.