Being a mother undoubtedly brings immense joy to your life. Along with the joy, the care that you must provide to yourself during pregnancy increases manifold. Dental care is an indispensable part, and you should be dealt with proper attention during pregnancy.
Pregnancy brings about a lot of hormonal, physical, as well as mental changes in your body, which accentuates the risk of gum disease and other oral problems. This may have a harmful impact on the health of the baby as well. So, you must stop by your dentist regularly and keep a check on any such potential problem. There must be plenty of questions that come to your mind when you get any dental procedure done during pregnancy. Is it safe? Will it have side effects? Can my baby get affected? All these questions are obvious, and here you will seek the answers to all these questions as recommended by our expert dentists at Conway House Dental Practice.
Why is dental care important during pregnancy?
During pregnancy, the body goes into a stressful state because of the changes taking place in your body. There are hormonal changes that make your teeth more prone to infections and decay. Also, excess nausea and vomiting during early pregnancy will lead to poor oral hygiene, and infections may ensue. If you develop periodontal disease or tooth decay, it may have a negative impact on the development of the baby. There is a probability that the baby may be born premature or with a low birth weight if you suffer from dental problems during pregnancy. Therefore, dental care during pregnancy is more important than dental care during regular days.
Is a visit to the dentist safe during pregnancy?
Yes, visiting a dentist is safe and also crucial for the good health of your baby. Your dentist will assist you in maintaining good oral health and even improve it to make sure that you don’t have to face extra trouble during pregnancy. Dental appointments can be taken at any time during pregnancy and are completely safe. However, a few extra precautions have to be taken. Your dental health has an influence on your overall health, and hence, the role of a dentist to keep you healthy and safe during pregnancy cannot be overlooked.
Which dental procedures can be performed during pregnancy?
Your body is already under stress due to pregnancy, and giving it additional stress by letting it undergo some dental procedures is not a good idea. Therefore, all the elective procedures, including cosmetic dentistry such as teeth whitening, or a smile makeover, should be postponed until after delivery. Any emergency dental procedure such as root canal treatment, wisdom tooth removal, broken tooth repair, if required, can be performed by taking extra precautions on your part as well as that of your dentist. Routine dental checkups should be continued throughout the pregnancy, and it is recommended not to skip it. It would be best if you collaborated with your obstetrician before getting a dental appointment to ensure that any extra precautions required should be met adequately. Your dentist will also guide you on the food items that you should and shouldn’t consume to assure good dental health.
What extra precautions should be taken during the dental procedure?
- Medications: You must inform your dentist about all the drugs/medicines along with the doses that you are taking. This will include any drug prescribed by the obstetrician during pregnancy or any medication you were taking before that. The dentist may be required to alter your treatment plan based on these medications.
- Medical Advice: If your obstetrician has suggested you or given you some medical advice concerned with dentistry, you must inform your dentist regarding the same.
- Radio diagnostic procedures: Investigations such as an X-ray which is commonly performed before dental procedures to know the extent of the disease should be performed with extra attention. Radiation exposure is considered harmful for the developing fetus, and hence, care must be taken that any rays should not pass near the abdomen or thyroid gland. The x-rays must be strictly confined to the area of the mouth.
- Maintaining oral hygiene: Follow a good oral hygiene routine, and don’t miss your routine dental checkups. If you notice anything abnormal such as swelling, tenderness, ulcers, sensitivity to hot/cold, or any other abnormality in your mouth, inform your dentist about it. Gums are more prone to getting infected during pregnancy, and special attention must be given to the care of gingiva.
- Getting over morning sickness: Morning sickness, which includes vomiting and nausea in the early days of pregnancy, can make you abhorrent towards brushing because of the prevalent lousy taste in your mouth. Ask your dentist to recommend a toothpaste with a bland taste. You should also rinse your mouth thoroughly with water or a mouthwash to get rid of the bad taste due to vomiting.
Which food items are beneficial to eat for your teeth and your baby during pregnancy?
Eating habits during pregnancy hold immense importance because they determine not just your health but also your baby’s. Therefore, eating right is indispensable during pregnancy. Here are some tips you must follow:
- Avoid excess sugary food items- Excess sugary items make your teeth prone to get infected and develop tooth decay. You will undoubtedly have cravings for sweet snacks, but keep in mind that those are not good for you and baby.
- Eat a balanced diet- Your baby’s teeth start developing at the beginning of the second trimester, and during this time, you must eat food rich in calcium and protein such as dairy products. These help in making the bones and teeth of your baby healthy.
- Antioxidants- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables during pregnancy, especially those containing vitamin C, such as kiwis, strawberries, and oranges. They act as antioxidants and help in preventing gum disease. All other vitamin-rich food items must be taken simultaneously.
- To prevent the erosion of enamel, you should consume food items such as bananas, which are highly nutritious and maintain low acidity. Sugarless chewing gums can also be used to neutralise excess acid in the mouth and throat.
Dental care during pregnancy is safe and extremely important. Another thing which must be taken in the account is that your dentist should handle your teeth with care. Pregnancy is a stressful state, and any other stressful event would not be welcome. Keep your dentist informed about the state of your pregnancy during the regular dental visits.