Dental care during pregnancy is not only safe, regular dental visits support your health and your baby's. Your body undergoes a number of changes during the course of your pregnancy, and your mouth is no exception.
Common dental issues
- Gum disease: Gingivitis characterized by sore, puffy and bleeding gums or periodontitis, a more advanced stage of gum disease involving destruction of the supporting structures of the teeth.
- Acid wear: Vomiting from morning sickness can wear away the enamel of your teeth.
- Tooth decay: When your enamel breaks down your teeth are more susceptible to cavities (decay). Satisfying your pregnancy cravings by eating sugary foods can also contribute.
Prevention - what you can do:
- Ensure you maintain a good personal dental care routine: Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste; floss at least once a day.
- If you are experiencing an exaggerated gag reflex your dentist may recommend a low foaming fluoride toothpaste and a toothbrush with a smaller head.
- If you suffer from morning sickness, rinse your mouth with a mixture of water and baking soda to protect the tooth enamel.
- Consider the foods you eat as well as when you eat them.
- Let your dentist know if you're pregnant, or trying to get pregnant. Your dentist will work with you to monitor the health of your mouth and can provide recommendations to minimize your risk of disease.
- Always let your dentist know about any medications you are taking.
At your dental exam your dentist may recommend:
- More frequent hygiene visits to control tartar build-up in the mouth.
- Treatment to address any issues and prevent any further damage. Local anesthetic can be safely administered during pregnancy and nursing.
- X-rays can safely be taken during pregnancy and may be recommended to diagnose and treat a dental issue.
Your dentist will work with you to determine your immediate needs as well as any procedures that can be postponed until after you have the baby.