Expecting a new addition to your family? Congratulations! Now, let’s talk about how we can help keep you comfortable all the way to your
delivery date and beyond. Some women avoid seeing the dentist while pregnant. However, dental procedures during pregnancy are safe,
according to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association. The study looked at 210 pregnant women who had
dental treatment and 794 pregnant women who did not. Researchers compared miscarriage rates, birth weights of the baby, and time of
delivery and found no significant difference between the groups. Seeing a dentist while pregnant is not only safe-it’s also important. After all,
pregnancy can increase the risk of dental problems. Here are five ways to take care of your dental health during pregnancy.
1. Get Regular Checkups
Hormonal changes during pregnancy can cause your gums to become tender, swollen, and more likely to bleed-a condition called pregnancy
gingivitis. If left untreated, pregnancy gingivitis can develop into serious gum disease. To avoid these problems, continue to see your dentist
at least every six months. And if you notice any problems with your teeth or gums, see a dentist right away. At your appointment, dental
hygienists will clean deep-set plaque and tartar from your mouth. This thorough cleaning can help you avoid tooth decay and gum disease.
Your dentist can also examine your mouth to find any problems and prescribe appropriate treatment plans.
2. Use CautionWith X-Rays
Research shows that modern X-rays probably aren’t harmful to pregnant women and their babies. Still, most dentists suggest that pregnant
women avoid routine X-rays. If you need an X-ray to diagnose a dental problem, let your dentist know you’re pregnant. Your dentist should
use a shield to protect your abdomen and thyroid from the radiation.
3. Continue to Brush and Floss
Daily brushing and flossing are crucial to prevent cavities, gum disease, and similar dental conditions. However, if you experience morning
sickness, the taste of toothpaste may make you want to gag. Try brushing with a flavorless toothpaste instead. Frequent vomiting from
morning sickness could damage your teeth. If you throw up, refresh your mouth and protect your teeth by rinsing with a cup of water and
a teaspoon of baking soda. The baking soda can neutralize the acids on your teeth. Don’t brush your teeth right away since brushing right
after vomiting can wear down your tooth enamel.
4. Eat Nutritious Foods
While pregnant, you may crave foods that are high in sugar and processed carbohydrates. However, these foods can cause dental problems.
These foods let sugar linger in your mouth. Bacteria eats the sugar in your mouth, producing acid in the process. This acid causes your tooth
enamel to break down, which forms holes known as cavities. Instead of eating a diet of chips, pizza, and cookies, eat plenty of vegetables,
meat, and beans. Exchange sugary sodas and juice for water and milk.
5. Treat Dental Problems
There’s no reason to delay scheduling dental treatments like root canals until after your baby is born. In this study from the Journal of the
American Dental Association, participating pregnant women safely underwent dental treatments. In fact, these women received X-rays and
anesthetics with no harmful effects. Delaying dental treatments can cause dental problems to worsen. For example, if you have an infected
tooth and delay getting a root canal, the infection can spread. It can even cause inflammation throughout the body, increasing the risk of
heart diseaseand stroke. Thus, if you have a serious dental problem, you should get it treated right away. When you’re pregnant, you
understandably worry about both your health and your baby’s health. Dental care and dental procedures can help you maintain good health.
Follow these tips, set an appointment with your dentist, put your feet up, and relax! Let your dentist know you’re pregnant, and he or she will
customize the procedures accordingly.