If you’re expecting, your days are often spent going to doctor’s appointments and preparing your home for the little one. However, it’s important that you add one more item to your ever-growing to-do list: go to the dentist. Visiting your dentist can help to prevent a whole slew of oral health issues that might crop up during your pregnancy. To protect your oral health (and the health of the baby!), here are a few things every expectant mother needs to know:
1. Should I wait to go to the dentist until after I give birth?
While many people believe you should avoid the dentist during your pregnancy, this couldn’t be further from the truth! In fact, seeing your dentist is one of the best things you can do for your health and the health of your baby. Otherwise, you may be at greater risk for pregnancy gingivitis, which can lead to premature birth. Be sure to schedule at least one check-up during your second trimester for a professional cleaning and any minor restorations (like fillings). Remember: let your dentist know that you’re pregnant, as this will allow them to adjust their care accordingly.
2. What dental procedures should I avoid while I’m pregnant?
Simple procedures like crowns, fillings, and even root canals are safe to have during your pregnancy. These procedures actually help to prevent infection, which can otherwise be harmful to the mother and induce early labor. Just make sure to avoid having any cosmetic dental procedures at this time, and know that your dentist may postpone other treatments as well depending on your medical history.
3. How does pregnancy affect my oral health?
Unfortunately, quite a few oral health issues can crop up during the course of your pregnancy. The most common illness is pregnancy gingivitis, as changing hormones can make your gums more susceptible to plaque and inflammation. Thankfully, this typically dissipates after you give birth. You may also be at higher risk for tooth decay, loose teeth, and pregnancy tumors. By visiting your dentist during the pregnancy, they will be able to help you protect your oral health over the next nine months.
4. How do I protect my teeth from the damages of morning sickness?
We know morning sickness is dreadful enough as it is, so thankfully we can prevent it from impacting your oral health in the process. After the corrosive stomach acids hit your teeth, you may be tempted to brush your teeth straight away – don’t! This will only aid the acids in corroding your dental enamel further. Instead, swish a mixture of baking soda and water in your mouth to neutralize the acids. Then, you can brush your teeth as normal!
5. What extra steps do I need to take to protect my oral health during pregnancy?
In between your visits to the dentist, there are a few things you can do to protect your teeth and gums during your pregnancy. First, be sure to floss daily and brush your teeth at least twice a day. Use an antibacterial mouthwash as well, as this can ward off infection of the gums (aka pregnancy gingivitis). You’ll need to drink plenty of water during the pregnancy, as your salivary glands may not be as effective in creating saliva for the time being. Otherwise, you may be at greater risk for infection and halitosis (bad breath). You might also consider chewing gum with xylitol as well, which is sugar-free and helps to boost your saliva production. By taking these steps to protect your oral health, your teeth should be in great shape once the baby is born!
To schedule your next dentist appointment, call Carillon Family Dental in Romeoville today!