• Healthy Pregnancy = Good Dental Health

    by Dr. Idan Snapir, DDS
    on Aug 18th, 2018

Congratulations – you’re pregnant!

We all know the drill: get lots of sleep, eat a balanced diet and drink plenty of water, exercise gently, take your prenatal vitamins, join a pre-natal class and schedule healthy baby visits with your OBGYN.

Did you know that practicing good dental hygiene and getting regular checkups with your dentist is also super important to a healthy pregnancy and baby?

We have gone through the latest research and compiled some important facts that expecting couples will want to know.  Read on and then be sure to schedule a visit with your dentist.

Planning to get pregnant?

This is the perfect time to get a comprehensive checkup with your dentist. When you make your appointment, let them know that you are planning on getting pregnant. You will want to get your teeth professionally cleaned, have your gums examined, and take care of any dental problems.

Pregnant & it’s time for your dental appointment

Not to worry, it is perfectly fine to go to your appointments while pregnant – just be sure to tell you dentist about your condition. In fact, women who avoid the dentist while pregnant have a much higher risk of delivering pre-term, which can create life-long health problems for the baby. (Studies have shown a strong correlation between periodontal disease and preterm low birth weight.)

So, get your teeth cleaned and your gums checked regularly, but wait to do any non-emergency procedures (like teeth whitening) until after the baby is born. By the way, gum disease can increase the levels of biological fluids that can induce early labor!

If you do need dental work done while pregnant, for example a filling, a root canal, or a tooth pulled, you do not need to worry about the local anesthetic you will receive. The Journal of the American Dental Association has done studies and found that these anesthetics do not impact the mother or her baby.

FYI, if you have a dental infection and need to take antibiotics such as penicillin, amoxicillin, or clindamycin, those have also been determined to be safe. Be sure to let your dentist know any other medications – over-the-counter or prescription – that you are taking.

According to the ADA, it is safe to get dental x-rays while pregnant if you require an emergency procedure.

 

Other reasons that you may want to visit your dentist while you are pregnant

The American Dental Association, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the American Academy of Pediatrics all recommend that women continue to get dental care while they are pregnant. 

Not only is maintaining good oral health and hygiene super important during pregnancy, but other conditions can occur during this period.

 

There are three conditions that can be brought on while pregnant:

  1. Pregnancy Gingivitis:

With all your hormonal changes gums can become tender, inflamed and even bleed. If you experience any of these symptoms, go see your dentist!

  1. Increased Risk of Tooth Decay:

Morning sickness, possibly eating more carbs, and the higher amount of acid in your mouth can increase the risk of developing tooth decay. Continue your regular routine of brushing and flossing, and if you notice any changes, contact your dentist. It is important! Poor dental health can lead to premature delivery, intrauterine growth restriction, gestational diabetes, and preeclampsia.

  1. Pregnancy Tumors:

Some women experience overgrowths of tissues on their gums. It is not cancer, but often swelling in-between the teeth. They have a red appearance and tend to bleed easily, and they are caused by plaque. If you think you may have them, please have your dentist examine them.


Dental Hygiene Tips During Pregnancy:

  1. Brush at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. If your gums are tender, try switching to a super-soft toothbrush.
  2. Experiencing morning sickness? Try a different flavor of toothpaste and rinse your mouth with a teaspoon of baking soda in water. You can also ask your dentist about an antimicrobial mouth rinse to help control the increase of plaque.
  3. You (and your developing baby) are what you eat! Calcium, protein, phosphorous, B12 and vitamin C will keep your gums healthy and help your baby develop healthy teeth. Click here for an excellent article on phosphorous rich foods: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods-high-in-phosphorus
  4. Avoid sugar! Obviously, sugar can lead to tooth decay and it is not good for your developing baby.

 

Taking good care of yourself and your teeth is the best way to take care of your developing baby. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your dental health, please check in with your dentist.

 

Oh, and BTW, Congratulations again!

 

 

Sources:

http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/dental-work-and-pregnancy/

https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/pregnancy/concerns

https://jada.ada.org/

https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/dental-care-pregnancy#1

https://www.latestly.com/lifestyle/health-wellness/world-oral-health-day-2018-know-everything-about-dental-care-during-pregnancy-73290.html

 

http://www.sentinelsource.com/parent_express/family_wellness/good-dental-health-begins-before-birth/article_cfb80e0e-698f-11e8-902f-cf9a7459f748.html

https://www.rdhmag.com/articles/print/volume-38/issue-2/content/oral-health-of-babies-to-be.html

Author Dr. Idan Snapir, DDS Director The Dental Smile Center

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