When you’re expecting, dental health is an important consideration, not only for you, but for your new addition also. Ideally, you may want to make a dental appointment when you are planning your pregnancy in order to have your teeth professionally cleaned, your oral health examined, and any problems treated in advance.
Your dentist will want to know when you’re pregnant. Be sure to tell her about any medications you are taking including your prenatal vitamins, and any medical advice your doctor may have given you. This will help your dentist provide the best treatment for both you and your baby.
During your pregnancy, preventive dental cleanings and exams are not only safe, but are important to avoid oral infections that have been linked to premature births. Additionally, your gums may be prone to swelling or bleeding due to the rise in hormone levels. This can cause food to become trapped creating further issues for gums and teeth.
In order to make your dental visits extra comforting, take a pillow and even a comfy throw blanket with you. Bring your headphones and relax with your favorite music, but remember to keep your legs uncrossed to maintain healthy circulation. Enjoy a healthy snack beforehand so you won’t get hungry. Just remember to brush before your visit. It’s recommended to use a soft toothbrush to avoid gum irritation and tooth sensitivity. A toothpaste for sensitive teeth may also be used if this is an issue.
In addition to your regular dental appointments, it’s necessary to maintain good oral hygiene practices at home by brushing twice a day, and flossing daily. If you suffer from morning sickness or vomiting, be sure to swish your mouth with water or an alcohol-free mouthwash containing fluoride afterward to help protect your teeth from eroding stomach acids. However, wait at least thirty minutes to brush your teeth and use a toothpaste with fluoride to help keep teeth protected.
Although food cravings are common during pregnancy, you will want to try to eat sensible, nutritionally balanced meals for your health and your baby’s. In fact, your baby’s teeth will start to develop about three months into your pregnancy, although they won’t begin to emerge until your baby is around four months old. So, avoid sugary snacks to keep tooth decay away and get plenty of vitamins and minerals for strong, healthy teeth.
Elective dental procedures and tooth whitening should be postponed until after your baby’s birth. X-rays may be postponed, however, according to the American Dental Association and the American College of Radiology, having dental X-rays during your pregnancy is considered safe with appropriate shielding and no single diagnostic x-ray has a radiation dose significant enough to cause adverse effects in a developing embryo or fetus.
If emergency dental work is necessary, your dentist can advise you best. Typically, non-emergency dental procedures are best performed in the second trimester after the more vulnerable first and before the third trimester when it may be less comfortable to lie on your back for any extended time period. Your dentist can advise you if treatment can be safely delayed until after delivery.
Follow these suggestions, and always pay close attention to any changes that might occur in your mouth. If you would like more information about dental care during your pregnancy, Dr. Heidi Finkelstein and her caring staff at My Plantation Dentist can help. To schedule your appointment, please contact us today at 954-584-1030.