Regular dental visits and cleanings during pregnancy are an important part of your oral health. These visits are safe for pregnant women and help you prevent and treat pregnancy-related dental issues. Proper oral care is part of maintaining overall health throughout this crucial period.
Tell Your Dentist if You Are Pregnant
Let the dental office know when you schedule an appointment if you’re pregnant or think you might be. Inform them if you are taking medications, how far along you are in your pregnancy, and if your doctor has given you any special advice. Your dentist may recommend waiting on certain treatments or procedures depending on your medical history and whether or not your pregnancy is high-risk.
Effects of Pregnancy on Oral Health
A number of dental conditions can be made worse or caused by pregnancy; practicing proper oral care and visiting your dentist regularly help you maintain a healthy mouth. The following conditions are more likely to occur during pregnancy:
-Pregnancy gingivitis: A rise in hormone levels during pregnancy increase your chance of experiencing tender, swollen, or bleeding gums; this condition is known as gingivitis and is the beginning stage of gum disease.
-Tooth Decay: The acid from morning sickness, eating extra carbs, frequent snacking, and other things associated with pregnancy make you more prone to develop tooth decay during this time.
-Pregnancy Tumors: Sometimes, tissue growths called pregnancy tumors develop on the gums during pregnancy. They are usually harmless, are thought to develop in connection with excess plaque, and often disappear after delivery.
Oral Care During Pregnancy
Proper oral care should include brushing your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each time and flossing daily. Using an alcohol-free mouthwash or rinsing with water can be helpful, particularly after experiencing morning sickness. Schedule regular visits to your dentist for a professional cleaning every six months, or more frequently if needed to control pregnancy gingivitis or other conditions.
Pregnancy and Dental Treatments
Most dental treatments are safe for pregnant women, but talk to your dentist if you are concerned about any treatments. Let your dentist know what medications you are taking, including prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, and vitamins. They will use this information to determine which medications will be safe for you during pregnancy in case they need to write a prescription for you. Local anesthetics used during tooth removal, fillings, and root canals are also safe during pregnancy. Dental x-rays are another common dental procedure that has been determined to be safe for pregnant women. During an x-ray, your dental hygienist will place an apron over you to minimize radiation exposure.
Continuing proper oral care during pregnancy is an important part of maintaining overall health. Regular dental visits help you avoid or minimize the dental conditions that sometimes occur with pregnancy so that your mouth stays clean and healthy.