If you’re planning to become pregnant in the future, start thinking about your teeth now. Your child’s future health can be affected by your own oral care. Here are two important examples:
- Low birth weight and premature birth are more common among mothers with periodontitis (gum disease)
- Children are more likely to get cavities before age 5 if their mother has untreated or severe tooth decay.
We believe in taking care of your mouth at all times. But if you’re planning to have a baby,
make a special effort beforehand to keep your biannual
cleaning and exam appointments. If you’re hesitating for financial reasons, ask the Future of Dentistry team about our Membership Program, which covers basic services and offers discounts on many additional treatments.
When you book your visit, tell our front desk staff about your plans. If you haven’t seen a dentist for a while, we may want to take x-rays and have the doctor see you. This reduces the risk of a dental emergency during pregnancy.
Your nutrition will affect your teeth, so a diet with vitamin-rich vegetables and protein is important for your mouth as well as your baby’s development. Snacking throughout the day is bad for your teeth. Though it’s easier said than done, try to limit snacking to sittings where you can brush and floss afterward!
You can, and should, maintain regular dental appointments during your pregnancy. Keeping your mouth healthy is part of keeping you healthy overall. Make sure to notify our staff that you’re pregnant.
Pregnant woman are prone to certain oral health issues that we watch out for during your biannual hygiene visits. These include increased risk of tooth decay, the temporary condition called “pregnancy gingivitis,” as well as “pregnancy tumors.” The latter sounds scary, but it’s actually a swelling that happens on the gums, often between teeth. They bleed easily and have a red, raw-looking raspberry-like appearance.
Morning sickness is no fun. Make sure you use a finishing rinse during this time, to help protect your mouth from corrosive acids. CloSYS has a neutral flavor that appeals to many expectant moms. Or, try a tablespoon of baking soda mixed with water.
Many women prefer bland or subtle toothpaste and mouthwash flavors during pregnancy. Whatever you use, make sure it carries the American Dental Association’s Seal of Approval to ensure it’s safe for both mom and baby.
X-rays are generally avoided during pregnancy, but if it’s a dental emergency, it’s acceptable. We take steps to ensure your safety and your baby’s too. The same is true of sedation for dental procedures.
When it comes to oral surgery, it’s better to wait till after the baby is born, especially with procedures like wisdom tooth removal. But treating serious dental emergencies should not be postponed. Call our office if you’re not sure. Our team is happy to discuss how to proceed with a treatment.
One more tip: Research suggests a pregnant mother’s stress affects the baby’s future risk of tooth decay. A good reason to keep calm!