Some women view pregnancy as the time to relax and make plans for the bright future. Others fear this difficult period of hormone spikes and constant worrying about their health.
One of the challenging parts of pregnancy is the limited number of medications a woman can take in order not to harm the growing baby. This includes certain types of dental anesthesia.
The best way to avoid treating your teeth during pregnancy is to take good care of your dental health. The better you care for your teeth, the more chances you have to avoid a visit to the dentist’s office.
Unfortunately, pregnancy often jump-starts a variety of unpleasant dental conditions, such as:
- Pregnancy gingivitis – The hormonal changes women go through during pregnancy can affect their mouths. Some pregnant women develop a condition called pregnancy gingivitis, which is a gum inflammation that causes tenderness, swelling, and occasional bleeding.
- High risk of cavities – Pregnant women have more chances of developing tooth decay since they tend to eat more carbohydrates. Meanwhile, the morning sickness boosts the level of acid in their mouth, thus ruining the tooth enamel.
- Pregnancy tumors – Some women experience an overgrowth of tissue on their gums during the second trimester. The swelling, which occurs between the teeth, may be caused by excessive plaque. It bleeds easily and causes discomfort, but usually disappears after the baby is born.
Dentists from Bajars & Bajars shared a few tips to keep your mouth healthy when pregnant.
1. Consider More Frequent Cleanings
One simple way to avoid pregnancy gingivitis and many other tooth problems during pregnancy is to schedule frequent cleanings. For example, you may want to consider visiting your dentist once every three months of your pregnancy.
Besides keeping your mouth clean, frequent check-ups can catch a tooth decay problem before it becomes critical.
2. Don’t Forget Brushing And Flossing
Morning sickness can make you hesitant to brush your teeth in the morning. However, failing to do it on a regular basis can lead to unfortunate consequences. Poor dental hygiene habits may cause premature delivery, gestational diabetes, and preeclampsia.
If you have an opportunity to brush your teeth after each meal, do it. It’s a wonderful habit, which can stay with you long after you deliver a baby, thus helping you avoid tooth decay and enjoy a healthy smile for years to come. To make your brushing more efficient go for an electric toothbrush. Dental Dorks has prepared an in-depth comparison of two market leaders: Oral-B vs. Sonicare.
Flossing is absolutely necessary during pregnancy since it reduces the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
3. Always Tell Your Dentist If You Are Pregnant
Some dental procedures, including x-rays, can be harmful to the baby. That’s why it’s highly important to tell your dentist you are pregnant, even if only a few weeks have passed.
Dentists know how to treat pregnant women, which local anesthesia to administer, and which problems to watch out for. Don’t worry, you won’t scare the doctor off. Just the opposite, he or she will be extra careful, making sure you feel comfortable.
4. Watch Your Diet
Watching your diet is tough when you are pregnant. However, you may want to limit the number of carbohydrates and soft drinks you consume during pregnancy. They don’t just add you extra pounds, but adversely affect your dental health.
In case you can’t keep yourself from eating something “forbidden”, make sure you at least rinse your mouth after eating.
Remember, your whole body is vulnerable during pregnancy and susceptible to problems you’ve never thought about before. That’s why it’s smart to be a little extra careful with your dental health in order to avoid unnecessary treatment.