We answer common questions about dental health and pregnancy
If you’re pregnant, you likely have many questions about what is best when it comes to dental care during pregnancy. We understand that you want to do what’s best for your unborn child, and we’re here to give you the best and safest dental care during your pregnancy.
The most important thing to know is that oral health is transferable to your baby. In other words, having a healthy mouth is better for the health of your baby. In fact, the American Dental Association says that poor oral health habits during pregnancy can lead to premature delivery, intrauterine growth restriction, gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. Plus, your baby’s teeth develop between three and six months of pregnancy.
So, not only does the ADA encourage dental care during pregnancy, but the American Congress of Obstetricians and the American Academy of Pediatrics do, too.
Common concerns during pregnancy
The most common questions of pregnant women often include how changing bodies and hormones affect teeth and gums, as well as whether getting dental work while pregnant is safe.
Here are a few of the most common concerns about dental care during pregnancy:
Swollen gums and other oral health issues
Pregnancy hormones can wreak havoc on your oral health; gums often respond negatively to plaque, making gums red, tender and sore. Sometimes, the gums will even bleed. Additionally, women often experience lower pain thresholds while pregnant. To help combat these problems and keep plaque at a minimum, Govani Dental encourages frequent visits when you’re pregnant. You may even need extra cleanings during your pregnancy.
Some women have heard they could lose teeth after giving birth. That is a myth. Women with good oral health should not lose any teeth—tooth loss after birth is the sign of an underlying dental problem that went untreated. There are cases, however, in which pregnant women feel like their teeth are a bit loose. According to Mayo Clinic, increased levels of the hormones progesterone and estrogen can affect the ligaments and bones that hold the teeth, making them feel loose. Let us know if you experience this feeling so that we can examine your teeth to ensure optimal dental health.
Are X-rays safe during pregnancy?
This is one of the most-asked questions from pregnant patients, and we understand the concerns about radiation. Our answer is yes, X-rays are safe. The American Pregnancy Association says the radiation dose of an X-ray is not large enough to affect an embryo or fetus.
At Govani Dental, we recommend X-rays be done in moderation and only when necessary. If we order an X-ray, it’s done to ensure there are not any problems that could affect your pregnancy or the health of your baby. And, we take added precautions, such as consulting with your OB/GYN before taking X-rays and double shielding your body during the X-ray.
Gagging from brushing and dealing with morning sickness
Many pregnant women gag while brushing. Our advice is to continue brushing twice daily, but you could try changing the flavor of your toothpaste, placing a little bit of salt on your tongue or using a smaller toothbrush, such as an electric toothbrush or even a baby toothbrush.
For those who suffer from morning sickness, we highly recommend you do not immediately brush after being ill. Rather, it’s important to flush the acid out of your mouth before brushing. Govani Dental recommends rinsing with water or a mouth rinse first and waiting 30 minutes before brushing. Or, the ADA also recommends a rinse of 1 cup water and 1 teaspoon baking soda.
One of the most important things you can do during pregnancy is keep up with good oral health. Regular brushing and drinking fluoridated water will help keep plaque and acids from harming your teeth during this very important time in your life. When visiting us for a checkup, make sure to let us know that you are pregnant and how far along you are so that we can help you make the best decisions for you and your baby.
If you have questions or concerns about dental care during pregnancy, give us a call at 920-231-1955.