Dental Care During Pregnancy
It’s important to take good care of your teeth and oral health while pregnant. Pregnancy causes hormonal changes which can affect your gums and teeth, so keeping good dental hygiene is a must.
Poor dental health and dental issues can affect your pregnancy, as well as your own teeth.
Using milder flavours of toothpastes may help you with regular brushing, so it’s worth trying different types. Following a period of morning sickness, you should rinse your mouth out with water and then brush your teeth afterwards to neutralize the acid in your mouth.
Maintaining this routine of dental care will give you the best protection against the risks of dental problems.
Precautions when having X-Rays
Although X-Rays don’t have any negative effects on the baby’s health, the dentist will usually recommend that dental X-Rays be avoided if possible. The procedure is considered harmless however many mothers choose to postpone treatment until after giving birth.
Any other dental work should be carried out in the second trimester or if possible after the baby has been born.
You should tell your dentist the names and dosages of all the medication you’re taking whilst pregnant. They can then alter the dental treatment plan if necessary, or give additional advice based on this information.
The medications used during dental work won’t affect your baby’s health, however, it’s important to be cautious with the amounts of the drug used. When using anaesthesia, your dentist will administer the smallest possible dose to minimize any risks. It’s also important to consider your comfort when receiving dental treatment while pregnant, so if you’re experiencing pain you should ask for additional numbing.
Antibiotics for treating dental infections such as penicillin are also safe to take while pregnant, but make sure to follow the dentist’s instructions when taking medication.
While pregnant you should be extra considerate of your dental health and regular habits. It’s very important to always brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, use an antibacterial mouthwash, and floss your teeth regularly.
Try not to skip check-up appointments at the dentist and ask them before postponing any dental work.
It’s crucial that you tell your dentist when you are pregnant so that they can advise precautions or instructions. During your pregnancy there are several factors that you must consider:
- Increased risk of gum disease
- Effects of morning sickness on your teeth
- Precautions when taking X-Rays
- Dental hygiene
Increased risk of gum disease
The hormonal changes caused by pregnancy can affect the way your gums react to plaque, and can put you at a higher risk of getting gum disease. Gum disease is caused by excessive plaque and bacteria forming on the teeth and gums, leading to inflammation, bleeding, receding gums, and in extreme cases even loss of teeth.
Thankfully, gum disease is treatable and there are several ways you can minimize your risks.
Keeping good dental habits will help prevent gum disease, and the dentist can provide treatment if it becomes a problem. Using antimicrobial toothpaste and mouthwashes can also help to minimise the symptoms.
Effects of morning sickness on your teeth
Morning sickness can be a problem for many who are pregnant, and can potentially affect your dental health. When morning sickness occurs, harmful acid enters the mouth and can lead to erosion of the enamel of your teeth, which causes tooth decay.
Morning sickness can also leave you sensitive to certain types of toothpaste – you may react to the smell or taste of toothpaste making it harder to take care of.