Oral Care During Pregnancy

10973945104_4d63369cb4Burlingame Dental Arts is the number one source for family dental care Portland residents choose. Why? Well, one reason is that we consider the health of your entire family– including all the different stages of life that take place.

Pregnancy is an incredible and exciting stage of life for new and growing families. While wonderful, pregnancy can also place women at a slightly higher risk for some oral health problems, and the health of your mouth, in turn, may impact your child. Being aware of the risks and monitoring your oral health is a critical part of your prenatal care. Here are our quick tips for optimal oral health during pregnancy.

Prepare

The best thing you can do for your oral health during pregnancy is make sure your mouth is healthy before you get pregnant. Besides daily care, a lot of regular oral health care overlaps with the health measures you’ve already probably taken to ensure a healthy pregnancy and child. Diet, exercise, avoidance of stress and sweets are all just a few of the things you may be doing while you are preparing for a pregnancy, and those things all benefit your oral health. 

Strike a balance

Because of hormonal changes, pregnancy places women at a higher risk for gum disease and bleeding, which in turn can have health impacts on your fetus. In addition to your daily care it is critical not to skip your dental visits at this time!

As important as dental visits are, some women feel nervous that dental cleanings or procedures could have harmful effects on their developing child. We totally understand, and for your health and your baby’s, we recommend:

  • Tell us if you are pregnant; this enables us to plan your dental care accordingly– and congratulate you!
  • Schedule your check-up for the second trimester; the first trimester is critical for proper fetal development, and the third is uncomfortable!
  • Schedule any elective procedures you’re having until after delivery, just to be on the safe side.
  • Avoid X-rays unless in case of emergency.
  • Tell us any prenatal vitamins or medications that may be prescribed by your physician. It may influence the type of dental care we provide! 

Remember: don’t skip your dental visits just because you are pregnant– this is a very important time to get dental care! If you have any reservations, please call our friendly staff, and we will create a dental care plan that fits you.

Manage nausea 

Pregnancy contains certain stereotypes that often serve as fodder for Hollywood. While no one experiences the miracle of birth quite as fast (and as well made-up) as they do in a 90-minute movie featuring impossibly good looking people, many real live women will attest that morning sickness is real. And it can affect your oral care. 

It’s understandable that you probably aren’t thinking about daily flossing, but if you are experiencing serious nausea, vomiting, or aversion to taste or smell, your oral health can be at risk. Here are some steps to take:

  • Make sure your toothpaste is still attractive to your new pregnancy nose. If you don’t like the smell or taste, it’s a lot harder to brush.
  • Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water, even if you’re too nauseated to eat. Try fizzy water with “bitters” for a beverage that also soothes. Lack of eating decreases saliva production, and you want to be sure to have a lot right now to ward off cavities and gum disease.
  • Finally, make sure you brush immediately afterward if you do experience vomiting. Sorry for the visual, but stomach acid is a potent destroyer of tooth enamel and you want to protect your mouth as much as possible.

Do you have more questions on caring for you mouth during pregnancy? We’d love to help! Please call us or ask one of our doctors at your next appointment. We look forward to seeing you. 

 

 

Photo Credit: Jeff and Meredith Purganan via Compfight cc

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