What You Should Know about Dental Care During Pregnancy
By Patrick Casey on February 02, 2015
Proper dental care is vital to oral and overall health, especially during pregnancy. Restorative dental treatments are safe to undergo while pregnant and are vital to ensuring proper oral health. Find out more about dental care and pregnancy with these tips from Montreal family dentists Charles and Patrick Casey.
Dental Care During Pregnancy
Being in good overall health is of utmost importance during pregnancy, and this includes oral health. It's more important than ever for women to practice proper oral hygiene while pregnant since increased levels of progesterone hormones raise the risk of developing gum disease. Gum disease can lead to tooth decay and recent studies suggest gum disease infection can spread throughout the body via the bloodstream. Studies suggest premature birth and low birth weight may be linked to severe gum disease. Though the effects of gum disease on fetal health are not clear, it is best to prevent gum disease for both the mother and baby's health. To help maintain a healthy smile, it's important to let your dentist know about your pregnancy. In the meantime, here are some dental care tips for expectant mothers to follow:
- Don't skip brushing and flossing: Brushing and flossing are the most important practices to keep gum disease at bay. Brush the teeth a minimum of twice a day, being sure to brush for a full two minutes. Brush at a slight angle, using circular motions to reach below the gum line. Flossing should be done at least once, daily. Floss between each tooth, running the floss up and down each side of the teeth, as deeply along the gum line as possible.
- Rinse your mouth with water if you experience morning sickness: It's common for pregnant women to experience morning sickness. The stomach acid in vomit can erode the tooth's enamel so it's important to rinse the teeth with water to neutralize and rinse away acid any time you experience morning sickness.
- See your dentist for regular check-ups: Regular dental exams and cleanings shouldn't be skipped during pregnancy. However, it is recommended these be performed during the second trimester. The second trimester is preferable since the nausea of the first trimester and back pain or general discomfort of the third trimester can make sitting a dentist chair difficult.
- Avoid non-emergency treatments: Elective, non-emergency treatments, like teeth whitening and cosmetic porcelain veneers, are not necessary for oral health so they should be avoided during pregnancy.
- Seek treatment for oral health issues: Though elective, cosmetic treatments should wait until after pregnancy, emergency issues, like tooth decay or root canal infections, should be addressed as soon as possible to avoid further damage or infection.
- Avoid dental X-rays unless needed for an emergency: It is best to avoid dental X-rays during pregnancy, however, they may be taken in the event of a dental emergency.
Schedule a Consultation
Maintaining a healthy smile is important for both baby and mommy, and should not be neglected during pregnancy. To find out which treatments are right for you, we invite you to schedule a consultation.
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“I felt more like I was talking to a friend than I was to a dentist.” Nancy Lanzolla, Former Patient