It is important to get proper dental care during pregnancy. Regular dental checkups and good hygiene practices at home can keep your teeth and gums free of tartar and plaque, and help to prevent or reduce the effects of pregnancy gingivitis and periodontal disease.
However, there are some things to keep in mind when you visit your dentist in order to ensure that you and your baby stay healthy throughout your pregnancy.
You should visit your dentist at least once during your pregnancy, to have a regular cleaning and routine dental checkup.
Dental appointments are typically made during the second trimester, after your baby has formed his vital organs. Though regular cleanings aren't harmful during the first or third trimesters, having your cleanings during the second trimester can reduce any possible risks to your baby.
If you are suffering from gingivitis or gum disease, your dentist can provide you with gum disease treatment during your regular checkups.
If you are experiencing any toothaches, or if you are noticing blood or pus around your gum line, you should also visit with your dentist.
These are signs of infection, which can be quite dangerous during pregnancy. Gum or other mouth infections can spread throughout your body, increasing the risks of pregnancy complications, like miscarriage.
Other dental emergencies, like a broken tooth or cavity, should also be seen by your dentist. However, treatment will usually be put off until after you have given birth, in order to avoid any possible complications.
If you are in a lot of pain, or if the problem can be solved quickly and easily, your dentist may choose to give you treatment during your pregnancy. Be sure to speak with your prenatal health care provider before you undergo any treatments though.
Treatments to Avoid at the Dentist
Exposure to x-rays should also be avoided during your pregnancy, unless absolutely necessary. Though dental x-rays give off minimal radiation, it is safer to avoid unnecessary dental x-rays until the postpartum period.
Any procedure that requires you to sit for long periods of time should also be avoided. Sitting in the dentist's chair can put pressure on the inferior vena cava, a major blood vessel in your body that supplies your lower extremities. This can cause fainting and loss of consciousness.
Dental Care At Home
The best way to ensure healthy teeth and gums is to follow a daily dental regimen at home. Here are some tips on how to keep those pearly whites healthy and happy!
- Brush at least twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste, and floss once a day.
- Switch toothpastes if you find that yours triggers nausea.
- Rinse your mouth out with warm water or an antibacterial mouthwash if you are suffering from vomiting and morning sickness.
- Avoid eating too many sugary foods, as these can cause plaque and tartar buildup.
- Eat a healthy pregnancy diet, with lots of calcium, vitamin B12 and vitamin C. These vitamins help to build healthy gums and teeth.
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