Congratulations on becoming pregnant! One of your many health-related questions may be concerning dental health care before, during and after pregnancy and there are some things you should know.
Before you are expecting is the perfect time to visit your dentist. You will have one less thing to worry about while you are pregnant, and it’s also an excellent opportunity to identify any problems that may affect yours or the baby’s health.
Infections of the mouth can potentially be harmful to a baby while in the womb, so if you know of or suspect that you have an issue that needs to be addressed, it’s much better to have it taken care of.
It is safe to visit your dentist during pregnancy, and routine procedures such as cleaning, cavities, and a general oral exam are all quite safe and don’t need to be postponed. Of course, you should always tell your dentist that you are pregnant; that way, they can assess whether a specific procedure is advisable, or should be delayed.
As a general rule, any major dental work should not be carried out during the first trimester of your pregnancy; instead, you should wait until you are at least 12 weeks pregnant. As a rule of thumb, dental x-rays are safe during pregnancy.
Studies have indicated a possible link between gum disease and a lower than average birth weight and even premature birth, making it more important than ever to look after your teeth and gums if you are pregnant. However, tender and bleeding gums aren’t uncommon during pregnancy, and of course, many pregnant women have those uncontrollable cravings for sugary, sweet foods which can increase the chances of oral problems.
The vomiting caused by morning sickness can also lead to an increased chance of tooth decay, and it’s important to rinse thoroughly after vomiting.
After the baby has been born is also the perfect time to visit your dentist, especially if you have experienced any of the issues noted above, and to be reassured that all is well. Make sure to let your dentist know if you have had any concerns about your oral health during the last nine months.
Your dentist can also answer any questions on brushing your baby’s teeth, which should be as soon as you spot the first tooth. And this is also an excellent time to visit your doctor, of course, to have your overall health checked.