When a woman becomes pregnant, there are several new health factors that must be taken into consideration. The one thing that should never take a backseat is the health of the mother, including dental health. This is why it’s important to have a good oral hygiene routine. It may seem trivial to be brushing your teeth or flossing when there are so many other things to get done before the baby arrives, yet it is essential for the mother to keep her mouth clean and healthy. This article provides insight into the importance of dental care during pregnancy, an explanation of what procedures are safe, and a list of recommended preventative dental practices to engage in.
Importance of Dental Care During Pregnancy
While dental health may not seem to be a high priority for an expecting mother, studies have shown that pregnant women are more likely to have issues with their teeth. This is primarily due to the fluctuations in hormones that allow for bacteria to grow in the mouth and on the gums. This bacteria, and potential infection, runs a huge risk to the baby. These infections can cause a baby to be born prematurely or with a low birth weight. Also, because of the nausea that can accompany pregnancy, the stomach acid can break down tooth enamel. This can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Because of these factors, it is important to take precautions when you are pregnant. Continuing a routine of regular oral hygiene will help prevent any complications during pregnancy.
What is Safe?
The safety of the mother and child should be the priority when deciding on what dental procedures to be performed. However, due to advances in dental technology, most dental procedures can continue as scheduled without any risk of complications. Regular annual dental visits are completely safe for mother and child and are actually encouraged during pregnancy. Also safe are numbing chemicals used for root canals, tooth pulling, and other oral procedures. Because these procedures have proven to be both safe and effective, oral health can continue to be a priority.
In contrast, there are some procedures that pregnancy mothers may want to reschedule until after baby arrives. Any elective dental procedures (One that is not urgent or an emergency) may want to be rescheduled to a date after delivery. Other than that, dental health and procedures can continue as scheduled. The only danger with dental care while pregnant is if the mother decides to skip appointments. This can lead to detrimental side effects that can affect the health of both the mother and child. Therefore, pregnant mothers can rest assured that their dentist will be able to provide them with necessary and safe dental care.
As a pregnant mother, there are certain preventive measures that can be done to help the mother and baby stay healthy. Most of these measures are no different than the measures that should be taken by those who are not pregnant. However, they are extra important to keep in mind when it comes to the health of you and your baby.
- Let your dentist know when you are pregnant so a plan of treatment can be made.
- Do not skip any dental appointments.
- Continue efficient brushing and flossing habits.
- If morning sickness is induced by toothpaste, try switching to a bland or neutral toothpaste.
- To aid with morning sickness, use antacids or rinse your mouth with water instead of mouthwash.
- Eat a healthy diet that is low on sugary foods or snacks.
- Do not smoke.
Pregnancy is a beautiful miracle. Though it can seem like a stressful time, it is important to enjoy each moment and remain healthy for you and your child. This includes your dental health. Keeping good dental habits while pregnant is essential for the health of mother and baby. If you have any questions about your dental health while you are pregnant, contact Guillot Family Dental in Lafayette, Louisiana. Their trained dental specialists are ready to answer any questions you may have and keep you on track to good dental hygiene throughout your pregnancy.