There is an abundance of information given to you about health care when you tell people that you are expecting a baby, but often less about dental care. The truth is dental care is important during pregnancy, so you should not ignore it.
You should not avoid check-ups during pregnancy, as you can still have your teeth professionally cleaned to maintain dental hygiene. Oral health contributes to your overall health, so it is worth including in your pregnancy to-do list. Pregnant women are at increased risk of tooth decay and cavities as a result of morning sickness (and possibly diet changes), so it is necessary for them to be monitored. The more acid your mouth is exposed to, the weaker your enamel becomes, but there are methods to minimize the damage; rinse your mouth thoroughly after vomiting and wait 30 minutes before brushing your teeth.
You can also enquire about pregnancy-related symptoms that you may be experiencing and learn about symptoms that you could expect to occur in the coming months, such as bleeding gums commonly caused by pregnancy gingivitis.
Some women experience tumors caused by plaque build-up on the gums during pregnancy, which is not life-threatening and usually disappears following childbirth but visit your dentist to discuss removal if you wish.
Keeping Your Dentist Notified
When informing your primary care physician that you are pregnant, you should also contact your dentist. This is so that they can best advise you throughout your pregnancy and help in any way that they can. Medications are especially essential to discuss as they can take this into account, such as when providing treatment. Keeping your dentist in the loop will allow them to best support you with your dental care.
Look for an Asheville NC dentist or one in your local area if you are not yet registered.
Pregnancy Safe Procedures
It is understandable that your priority will be avoiding anything harmful to your baby during the pregnancy, but do not worry, as the dentist will have expertise on the matter. Studies by the American Dental Association have shown that it is safe to get a filling, root canal, or tooth pulled, including with numbing medications such as local anesthetic during pregnancy – so do not hesitate to book in before you give birth.
Daily Dental Hygiene Habits
Beyond your visits to the dentist, you should be keeping up with your dental hygiene routine at home. Brushing your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and flossing will keep your teeth clean during pregnancy. Poor dental hygiene habits during pregnancy have been associated with an increased risk of premature delivery, intrauterine growth restriction, gestational diabetes, and preeclampsia which can lead to complications.
You can also consult with your doctor for guidance on finding the best products to use whilst pregnant.
Nutrients for Your Baby’s Teeth
You should consider not only your own teeth during pregnancy but also your baby’s. Alongside taking folic acid supplements and eating foods high in folate, Vitamin A, C, and D, protein, calcium, and phosphorous are essential nutrients to be absorbing daily for your baby’s teeth to form correctly.
Be sure to keep on top of your dental hygiene for the health and safety of yourself and your baby, and always consult a dentist if you require assistance.