Pregnancy is a beautiful journey filled with excitement and anticipation, but it also comes with a host of changes in the body, including oral health. While taking care of your overall health is a top priority during this time, dental care should not be overlooked. We’ll explore the importance of dental care during pregnancy, common oral health concerns, and guidelines for maintaining a healthy smile while expecting; and how we at Burnaby Heights Dental Centre support you during this exciting time.
Why does dental care matter during pregnancy? Maintaining good oral health during pregnancy is crucial, not only for the mother but also for the baby’s well-being. Here’s why dental care matters:
As for hormonal changes, pregnancy hormones, particularly estrogen and progesterone, can affect the gums, making them more prone to inflammation and bleeding. This condition is known as pregnancy gingivitis.
As for morning sickness, frequent vomiting during pregnancy can expose teeth to stomach acids, leading to enamel erosion and tooth sensitivity.
There can also be many dietary changes throughout pregnancy with cravings for sugary or acidic foods can increase the risk of tooth decay.
As for gum health, pregnancy runs the risk of pregnancy gingivitis, which can progress to gum disease, or even periodontal disease, which has been linked to preterm birth and low birth weight.
Guidelines for Dental Care During Pregnancy:
Preconception Check-up – Ideally, schedule a dental check-up before becoming pregnant. This will allow your dentist to address any existing dental issues and provide guidance on maintaining good oral health during pregnancy.
Routine Dental Care – Continue with your regular dental exams and cleanings during pregnancy. Inform your dentist about your pregnancy, and they can adjust treatment plans as needed.
Oral Hygiene – Maintain meticulous oral hygiene. Brush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristle toothbrush. Floss daily to prevent gum problems.
Morning Sickness – If you experience morning sickness, rinse your mouth with water or an alcohol-free mouthwash after vomiting. Avoid brushing immediately after vomiting to prevent enamel damage.
Dietary Choices – Be mindful of your diet. Opt for nutritious foods and snacks low in sugar and acid. If you do indulge in sugary treats, rinse your mouth with water afterward.
Fluoride and X-rays – Dental X-rays should be postponed until after pregnancy, except in emergencies. If your water supply lacks fluoride, consider fluoride treatments as recommended by your dentist.
Dental Procedures – Necessary dental procedures such as fillings or root canals can often be safely performed during pregnancy, especially during the second trimester. However, elective treatments may be postponed until after delivery.
Medications – Inform your dentist of any medications or supplements you are taking during pregnancy. We can ensure that any prescribed antibiotics or pain relievers are safe for expectant mothers.
Postpartum Check-up – After delivery, schedule a follow-up dental appointment to address any issues that may have arisen during pregnancy.
Dental care during pregnancy is essential for both maternal and fetal health. By following these guidelines and maintaining good oral hygiene habits, you can reduce the risk of oral health problems during pregnancy. Regular dental check-ups, along with open communication with your dentist, will help ensure a healthy smile throughout this special time in your life. Remember, a healthy mom leads to a healthy baby, and that includes a healthy smile!