Pregnancy is an exciting time. However, while you’re busy preparing for a baby, remember to take care of your teeth. Your oral health during pregnancy can have a significant impact on you and your baby’s development.
Here, we’ll provide answers to some of the most common questions about oral health and pregnancy.
Why Is Oral Health Important During Pregnancy?
Though oral health is important throughout your life, it’s especially important during pregnancy, since any infections you get have the potential to spread through your body and impact your baby’s development. If you have an infection in the teeth or gums during pregnancy, such as periodontal disease, the chances of delivering your baby prematurely or at a low birth rate may be higher than it would be with a healthy mouth. Taking care of your teeth keeps you healthy and prepares your baby to be born healthy as well.
How Does Pregnancy Affect Your Teeth?
It’s also important to care for your oral health while pregnant because your body may be more susceptible to cavities and gum infections during this time.
During pregnancy, a change in your hormone levels makes it easier for bacteria to grow and thrive in the mouth. If these bacteria get into the gums, they can cause inflammation and bleeding, sometimes called pregnancy gingivitis. Like regular gingivitis, this condition can develop into periodontal disease, affecting your baby’s development and potentially leading to tooth loss if left untreated.
Other aspects of pregnancy influence oral health as well. If you suffer from morning sickness, for example, the acid from your vomit could wear down tooth enamel, leaving you more vulnerable to cavities.
Can You Go to the Dentist While Pregnant?
Yes, you can and should go to the dentist while pregnant. Going to the dentist can allow you to notice and treat gingivitis or other oral health concerns early.
You can safely undergo routine cleanings and dental procedures while pregnant. However, you should still consult your obstetrician beforehand, since they may make special considerations for your unique situation. You can also communicate your pregnancy to your dental office when you’re making an appointment so that they can decide how to serve you best.
How Can You Protect Your Teeth During Pregnancy?
If by now you’re feeling motivated to improve your oral health, here’s some good news: Taking care of your teeth during pregnancy is similar to the good oral hygiene you practice normally. That means brushing twice daily, flossing daily, drinking fluoridated tap water and avoiding substances that could harm your teeth, such as tobacco and excessive sugar. In addition, you can promote good oral health while pregnant by:
- Rinsing your mouth thoroughly if you vomit
- Switching to a milder tasting toothpaste if you suffer from nausea
- Eating a balanced diet with plenty of calcium
Caring for your oral health can help keep you and your baby healthy during pregnancy, and checking in with a dentist is an easy first step. If you’d like to schedule an appointment, or if you have questions about pregnancy and oral health, feel free to reach out to us at Dental Choice.