Mothers-to-be understand very well how important it is for them take good care of themselves throughout their pregnancy. But many women don’t realize that proper oral care is just as important and that visiting a dentist when pregnant is necessary for both mother and baby’s good health.
Let your dentist know you are pregnant
First and foremost, let your dentist know you are a pregnant woman. This is very important if dental problems occur during gestation. It also allows your dentist to provide information before your next visit.
Understand how pregnancy can affect dental health
Practicing good oral hygiene habits every day is so important for pregnant women. To prevent common dental conditions such as pregnancy gingivitis, always brush your teeth at least two times each day and floss at least once a day. You should be doing this anyway, but it is necessary to be particularly diligent during pregnancy to avoid serious dental problems. A pregnant woman should never have to consider undergoing sedation to address a problem that could have been avoided.
Provide your dentist with a list of current medications
Prepare a list of medications with your current dosages along with any instructions your doctor may have included. This is something your dentist needs to have on record. Certain prescription drugs, such as tetracycline, may negatively affect your developing unborn baby.
Learn about how good nutrition impacts dental health during pregnancy
Just like eating a well-balanced, healthy diet is necessary for your developing infant, it also affects yours and your baby’s dental health. By eating foods rich in calcium, antioxidants like Vitamins D, C, and A, protein, and phosphorus you will give your body the nutrition it needs and avoid dental issues while pregnant.
It is bad practice to get into the habit of snacking excessively with the excuse that you are eating for two. The more you snack, the more plaque will form on your teeth, possibly leading to decay. If you find yourself craving something sweet, try to satisfy that urge with a high protein, low sugar snack.
Also remember, if you are a pregnant woman or are planning to become pregnant and you currently smoke, now is the best time to quit. In addition, alcohol consumption should be avoided. These stimulants are harmful to your baby and damaging to your teeth.
Some other factors pregnant women should keep in mind:
- Dental x rays while pregnant can be done, if necessary, due to advances in safety procedures, but should be avoided.
- Elective dental work while pregnant should be avoided and deferred until after the birth of your baby.
- If you experienceswollen gums during pregnancy, toothache, dental infection, or bleeding gums, contact your dentist immediately to treat the problem before it worsens.