Pregnancy is accompanied by a lot of things to take care of including dental care. Generally, pregnant women have to be extra conscious about their physical well-being because the health of the unborn child is dependent on how she takes care of herself. And pregnant women should be more conscious about taking care of their teeth and gums because the hormonal changes increase the risk of developing gum disease, which in turn can affect the developing baby’s health as well. Hence, pregnant women are advised to visit their family dentist to help them address any dental health concerns.
The dental office Mississauga pregnant women visit has prepared a checklist of some helpful tips to help maintain good oral health before, during and after pregnancy.
Dental Care before Pregnancy
Teeth should be professionally cleaned before pregnancy. The importance of adhering to regular dental check-ups especially when a woman is planning to get pregnant must be adhered to. The dentist the pregnant women consult will also carefully examine the gum tissue so that any oral health problems detected or determined may be treated well in advance of the pregnancy.
Dental Care during Pregnancy
- The family dentist should advise the pregnant woman to avoid any dental treatment during the first trimester and second half of the third trimester as a precautionary measure. These periods are critical in the baby’s growth and development and it is recommended that the pregnant woman is not exposed to any dental procedure that could cause stress and affect the health and condition of the developing baby.
- All elective dental procedures should be done after childbirth.
- It is important that the dentist is informed of all the drugs (names and dosages) the pregnant woman is taking, including prenatal vitamins. Certain drugs such as tetracycline can affect the child’s teeth development so it should not be given during if the pregnancy is past 18 weeks.
- Dental X-rays should be avoided during pregnancy because of possible radiation effects to the developing fetus. In case of a dental emergency where X-rays are needed, the dentist should use extreme caution to safeguard the baby and the mother.
- Dental checkup schedule should not be skipped because of pregnancy. Regular periodontal (gum) exams are very important because pregnancy causes hormonal changes that put the pregnant woman at increased risk for periodontal or gum disease, and pregnancy gingivitis – when tender gums bleed easily. Any changes in the pregnant woman’s gums during pregnancy, such as gum tenderness, bleeding or gum swelling, should be immediately reported to the family dentist.
- Good oral hygiene practices to prevent and reduce oral health problems should be strictly followed even during pregnancy.
Eating Right for Your Teeth and Baby
Pregnant women should avoid sugary snacks to avoid developing tooth decay. While sweet cravings are normal during pregnancy, it should be regulated. Studies have shown that the bacteria causing tooth decay are passed from the mother to the child. A healthy, balanced diet is what pregnant women should have. Healthy diets containing dairy products, cheese, and yogurt are a good source of these essential minerals and are good for baby’s developing teeth, gums, and bones.
Dental Care after Childbirth
After childbirth, it is important to see the dentist to have the entire mouth examined and periodontal health evaluated.