Happy lesbian couple touching belly of the expectant mother

How to Maintain Excellent Oral Health During Your Pregnancy

Pregnancy Can Be a Rewarding, yet Overwhelming Time.

Your body and lifestyle are undergoing huge changes. Many of the things you used to do and enjoy are placed on the back burner. But does that mean everything, including your dentist appointments, should go on hiatus?

Modern research says no, and that going for appointments is healthier than not going. Here’s why.

Visiting the Dentist While You’re Pregnant Can Help Prevent and Manage Infections

As you likely know, your hormones change a lot during pregnancy. This change can affect your oral health, potentially increase your risk of gum disease, and infect the bones holding your teeth in place (also known as periodontitis).

According to the Government of Canada, periodontitis has been linked to preterm deliveries or babies with a low birth weight. Researchers are working to determine how these things are linked.

You may experience “pregnancy gingivitis” anywhere between your third and ninth month of pregnancy. Estrogen and progesterone hormones have increased, causing your gums to be more sensitive. Because of this, you may notice your gums become swollen, red, or irritated from bacteria. The best way to manage this is to maintain excellent oral hygiene like brushing and flossing regularly and gently cleaning your teeth at the gum line.

Visiting your dentist during this time adds an extra layer of protection because they can identify gingivitis before it turns into periodontitis.

It may come as a relief to know that most pregnancy-related gum problems will go away once you’ve had the baby. If they do not, make an appointment with your dentist.

Following the Proper Steps While Dealing With Morning Sickness May Preserve the Integrity of Your Teeth

For many women, morning sickness is an unfortunate reality of pregnancy. But it doesn’t mean you have to let it wreak havoc on your teeth.

When you vomit, you’re exposing your teeth to stomach acid and weakening your enamel. This puts you at risk of tooth decay and erosion. Immediately after vomiting, rinse your mouth with water or a mouthwash containing fluoride. After you’ve rinsed, wait at least 30 minutes to reduce the acid in your mouth, then brush your teeth.

Eating the Right Foods is Beneficial for Your Oral Health, Your Overall Health, and Your Baby’s Health

We’ve spoken before about how the foods you eat can make or break your oral health.

But when you’re pregnant, you’re not just thinking about you: you have your baby to think of as well.

Including more calcium in your diet is very important. Your baby needs it for strong bones and teeth. If your diet is lacking calcium, your body will draw from the supply in your bones and blood to provide for your baby.

Low calcium levels in your blood means low calcium levels in your saliva. This is bad because saliva helps remineralize your tooth enamel by taking calcium and phosphate minerals from your saliva and depositing them in your enamel.

Eating foods that are high in calcium or taking a supplement ensures that you and your baby are getting the right amount without taking from your bones and teeth.

In Most Cases, There Is No Medical Need To Postpone Most Dental Treatments

Scheduling a checkup in your first trimester to have your teeth cleaned and a standard checkup is ideal. This will give your dentist a chance to examine your mouth for any signs of pre-existing gingivitis or periodontitis.

While it is safe to get treatment in every trimester, the second trimester is the safest one, according to Dr. Robyn Horsager-Boehrer, a specialist in maternal-fetal medicine. The third trimester is safe as well, but you may be uncomfortable laying back for an extended period of time.

Experts like Dr. Horsager-Boehrer recommend not postponing procedures that are necessary for your health just because you’re pregnant. If it’s an elective procedure, you can wait until after the pregnancy if it would make you feel safer.

As a mother herself, Dr. Andrea Stevens knows the importance of doing everything possible to make sure your baby is safe and healthy. As a dentist, she has the skill and experience to make your mouth as healthy as possible. Reach out for an appointment to see how the two titles collide to give you the best experience possible.

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