Dental Care and Pregnancy

Dental Care and Pregnancy
It’s important for you to care for your teeth and gums while pregnant. Pregnancy causes hormonal changes that increase the risk of developing gum disease which can affect the health of your developing baby.

Below are some tips to help you maintain good oral health before, during, and after pregnancy.

Before You Get Pregnant

Try to make a dental appointment before you plan to get pregnant. That way, your teeth can be professionally cleaned, your gums can be carefully examined, and any oral health problems can be addressed and treated before your pregnancy.

Dental Care While Pregnant
Let your dentist know if you are pregnant. Routine dental care and most urgent procedures can be done at any time during pregnancy. All elective dental procedures should be postponed until after the delivery. Before your dental appointment, check with your obstetrician to see if he/she has any special precautions/instructions for you.
Make sure to tell your dentist the names and dosages of all drugs you are taking. Be sure to include medications and prenatal vitamins prescribed by your doctor – as well as any specific medical advice your doctor has given you.

Don’t skip your routine dental checkup appointment. During this time, regular periodontal exams are very important. This is because pregnancy causes hormonal changes that put you at increased risk for periodontal disease and for tender gums that bleed easily – a condition called pregnancy gingivitis. Pay close attention to any changes in your gums during pregnancy. If tenderness, bleeding or swelling of gums occurs at any time during your pregnancy, talk with your dentist as soon as possible.

If you are experiencing morning sickness and it’s keeping you from brushing your teeth, try switching to a bland-tasting toothpaste during pregnancy. Also, it may be a good idea to rinse your mouth out with water or a mouth rinse if you suffer from morning sickness and are frequently vomiting.

Dental X-rays can be done during pregnancy. Advances in technology have made X-rays much safer today than in past decades. Your dentist will use extreme caution to safeguard you and your baby, such as shielding your thyroid and abdomen.
Eat a healthy, balanced diet. Your baby’s first teeth begin to develop about three months into pregnancy. Healthy diets containing dairy products, cheese, and yogurt are a good source of these essential minerals and are good for a baby’s developing teeth, gums, and bones.

After You’ve Had Your Baby
If you experienced any gum issues during your pregnancy, see your dentist soon after delivery to have your entire mouth examined and periodontal health evaluated.

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