Caring For Your Teeth During Pregnancy
When you’re pregnant, it’s important to continue taking care of your teeth and gums. In fact, it’s a good idea to schedule a dental cleaning and complete checkup before you plan on becoming pregnant, so any oral health issues can be dealt with beforehand. Also, the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy can increase your chances of developing gum disease, which can negatively affect the health of the developing fetus, making ongoing dental care an important priority during your pregnancy.
If you are already expecting a baby, you can safely continue with routine dental care appointments you may already have made. Here are some tips and information on caring for your teeth during pregnancy:
Continue with your routine checkups at any of our Birmingham office locations. Throughout your pregnancy, you can have your teeth cleaned and undergo any urgent procedures, such as a filling. Just be sure to inform the staff and your dentist of your present condition. Also, check with your OB/GYN to check whether there are any particular instructions for you to follow before any dental work begins.
Ensure that your dental practitioner is aware of any and all drugs you are taking, whether they are prescription or over-the-counter medications. This includes pre-natal vitamins. This will help your dentist decide whether your oral treatments need to be modified at all.
Yes, you can have dental X-rays during pregnancy, but make doubly sure that a shield is placed on your abdomen and thyroid for protection. Today’s digital and other types of X-rays are much safer than those used in the past.
Those hormonal changes that occur while you’re pregnant can put you at greater risk for developing periodontal disease and bleeding gums. Having tender gums that bleed easily at this time in your life is called pregnancy gingivitis. Keep an eye on your gums during pregnancy. If they are more tender than usual, bleeding, or swollen, call Alabama Family Dentistry for an appointment as soon as possible.
Throughout your pregnancy, continue to follow appropriate oral hygiene practices to keep your teeth and gums in good shape. Floss, brush regularly, and avoid eating too many sweets and sugary snacks to prevent tooth decay, even though many women crave these foods while pregnant.
If you’re suffering from morning sickness and can’t tolerate the taste of your usual toothpaste, switch to a blander paste while you’re pregnant. Your Birmingham area dentist can recommend a brand to you. If you are vomiting frequently, keep your mouth fresh by rinsing with water or a dental rinse.
Be sure to eat a healthy, balanced diet, remembering that your baby’s first teeth start to develop after the first trimester. Keep dairy products, such as cheeses and yogurt, in your diet for the minerals they provide in developing teeth, gums, and bone.
After you’ve delivered your bundle of joy, make an appointment to see your dentist if you’ve experienced any gum issues during the pregnancy. It’s a good idea to have a complete oral exam and periodontal checkup at that time.
Alabama Family Dentistry has four convenient locations in the Birmingham area: Warrior Family Dentistry, Acton Road Family Dentistry, Gardendale Family Dentistry, and Sumitron Family Dentistry. Contact our staff at Alabama Family Dentistry today for your appointment with one of our experienced dentists.
This article does not take the place of professional dental advice. Please make an appointment at Alabama Family Dentistry or with a dentist in your area.
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