Pregnancy and welcoming children into your life is an exciting, incredible, and very busy chapter in your life. If you are making plans and getting ready for your new arrival, don’t forget to take care of your smile before, during and after your pregnancy. Be sure to let your dentist know that you are pregnant, and if there are any other changes to your medical history.
Hormones & Pregnancy Gingivitis
According to the American Dental Association, the hormones associated with pregnancy can greatly increase the risk for Gingivitis and Periodontal issues (gum disease). This means women need to give their teeth and gums a little extra TLC, as regular brushing and flossing and regular dental check-ups are the best way to prevent gum disease altogether.
If you are diagnosed with pregnancy gingivitis, your dentist may recommend you return more often to ensure your mouth stays clean and healthy, and does not develop into a more severe form of gum disease.
Nutrition & Dental Health During Pregnancy
The American Dental Association states that there is no direct connection between pregnancy and tooth degradation due to fetal development. However, the ADA recommends that pregnant women take prenatal supplements and eat a diet that includes calcium, Vitamin D and Folic Acid.
In addition to adhering to a healthy diet and taking prenatal vitamins, new and expecting mothers should build up and maintain Calcium and Magnesium in their bodies to ensure continued dental and whole body health.
Calcium is known to help build and maintain bones and teeth, and Magnesium helps to transport Calcium around the body. Magnesium is also known to promote restful sleep and reduce issues such as headaches, leg cramps, and even teeth grinding (bruxism). Calcium and Magnesium can be found naturally in many foods, and can be taken as supplements. Magnesium can also be absorbed through the skin via creams, oils and bath salts.
Stomach Acid & Tooth Decay
Women who experience severe morning sickness during pregnancy are more likely to experience dental caries and erosion of tooth enamel. Fluoride treatments can help with acid erosion, as well as rinsing with water immediately after being sick.
Dental Treatment & X-Rays during Pregnancy
It is both safe and recommended to have any necessary dental treatment during the first two trimesters. Dental treatment such as fillings or root canals can help prevent further decay and potential infection. Also, standard and diagnostic dental x-rays using 1st Family Dental’s digital equipment are perfectly safe for use during pregnancy.
During your third trimester, it may become very uncomfortable to lie on your back for extended amounts of time. The most conservative course of action is to avoid any non-critical dental treatment such as teeth whitening, during the third trimester.
Life can get very busy after the arrival of a new family member. You may be focused on the dental health and development of your child, but must not forget to take care of yourself. It is still very important for you to keep up with your at home oral hygiene routine, as well as regular checkup and cleaning visits every 6 months.