You’re pregnant! Congratulations! You have a lot to prepare for your new baby before they arrive, buying baby clothes, preparing the nursery… Amid all of the planning, you need to make sure you don’t neglect your dental care.
When you become pregnant, your body starts to increase its hormone production of progesterone and estrogen. These hormones cause changes in your body, including your mouth. Some women may experience dry mouth or swollen gums during pregnancy.
Even if you don’t experience noticeable changes to your oral health during pregnancy, you should still practice daily oral hygiene. Proper oral hygiene habits can help you avoid dental infections and gum disease. If you’re pregnant, use these dental care tips to keep your gums and teeth healthy.
- Bleeding gums & gum disease
Changing hormonal levels during pregnancy mean that your body will react differently to bacteria on your teeth (plaque). This can lead to swollen and bleeding gums and even to the more serious forms of gum disease such as periodontitis and pregnancy gingivitis. There have been proven links between gum disease and adverse pregnancy outcomes; with a greater risk of pre-eclampsia, premature birth and of giving birth to an underweight child. It is therefore vital that pregnant women do not ignore any early signs of gum disease and get checked out by your dentist in Mooroolbark straight away.
- Pregnancy and Tooth Decay
Cravings are rather common amongst expecting mums. A desire for sugary snacks and frequent snacking in between meals will increase the chance of developing tooth decay. Try to snack on low-sugar foods instead and keep any sweet treats to mealtimes only. Be mindful of hidden sugars and added sugars in drinks, healthy snacks and sauces.
- Stop morning sickness affecting your teeth
If you suffer from morning sickness, try to avoid cleaning your teeth straight after being sick as stomach acids can soften tooth enamel. Rinse your mouth out with fresh water and wait at least half an hour before brushing your teeth. This is because brushing right after might wear away the protective lining of your teeth.
One of the easiest changes you can make to look after your oral health, and overall health, is your diet. Cutting down on how often and how much sugar you consumer can dramatically reduce your risk of tooth decay and is also beneficial to many other areas of your health. Switching to fresh fruit and vegetables is a great way to look after your oral health and also look after you and your baby.
- X-rays and anaesthesia
When you visit the dentist for your yearly check-up, they’ll usually give you an x-ray. However, while you’re pregnant, you can skip the x-ray until after you’ve had the baby.
That said, if you have an emergency procedure that requires an x-ray, you should still get it done. One individual x-ray doesn’t have enough radiation to harm a fetus.
In fact, the standard dental x-rays are safe too. The reason to skip them is just for your peace of mind. Some people might stay away from all kinds of dental work during the first trimester since that’s the most important time for development.
But there’s no solid reason to avoid basic dental work during this time.
- Painkillers and antibiotics
It is generally safe for you to use common painkillers such as paracetamol and antibiotics when you are pregnant. You should always speak to your doctor before taking any new medication while pregnant to make sure it is safe to use.
It’s vitally important to stay on top of your oral health when you are pregnant to avoid any potential problems. If you have questions ask our dentists at Mooroolbark Family Dental today on (03) 9726 7955
We welcome all patients from Ringwood, Croydon, Warrandyte and surrounding suburbs.