Abacus Dental Care, 52 Lennon Drive, Milton Keynes, MK8 0AS

Dental Care During Pregnancy

Looking after your oral health generally is very important but during pregnancy it is crucial for both mum-to-be and baby, thus it is essential that you don’t neglect your oral and dental hygiene routines. Remember to always let your dentist know if you are pregnant. A good oral hygiene routine of cleaning your teeth at least twice a day for 2 minutes, together with regular interdental cleaning, will help prevent plaque build up and keep gums healthy.

Planning a pregnancy in the near future?

If you’re planning to have a baby in the near future, visit your dentist before you fall pregnant so that dental X-rays can be taken to detect any problems. Your teeth will be professionally cleaned, and any potential gum issues will be noted. Doing this will allow your dentist time to perform procedures such as root canals, extractions, fillings or crowns before you fall pregnant.

Already pregnant?

If you are undergoing dental treatment and you discover you are pregnant, tell your dentist so that they can adjust your planned treatment to suit your new circumstances.

What medication or vitamins are you taking?

It’s important to inform your dentist of any new medications or vitamins that you are taking, as well as any medical advice you’ve been given by your doctor. Your dentist may need to change your dental plan based on this information.

Importance of good oral and dental hygiene before getting pregnant

The higher your standard of oral health before getting pregnant, the higher the chances are that you will not have to visit the dentist for major treatments during pregnancy, apart from your routine check-ups. Teeth should be brushed for two minutes twice a day, together with interdental cleaning to ensure healthy gums and clean teeth.

Importance of regular dental check-ups during pregnancy

Regular dental check-ups throughout pregnancy are extremely important. Your dentist can detect problems such as pregnancy gingivitis, cavities and loose teeth long before they become serious problems.

Pregnancy causes many changes throughout the body. As the pregnancy progresses, the body’s cells start to retain fluid. Fluid retention is also found in the gums as a result which, when combined with changes in hormonal levels, can lead to inflammation in the gums making expectant mothers more susceptible to periodontal disease.

Pregnancy gingivitis is quite common and is exacerbated by high progesterone levels which can cause the rapid development of bacterial plaque which causes gum disease. If you experience any gum swelling, bleeding or tenderness, see your dentist as soon as possible.

Cavities are another problem during pregnancy. Pregnant women often crave unhealthy foods that they wouldn’t usually eat such as foods containing sugar which attack the teeth. Another cause of cavities is vomiting, which increases the acidity in the mouth and erodes the enamel on the teeth, leading to cavities.

Following a good oral hygiene routine, together with visits to a dentist will generally keep your mouth healthy throughout pregnancy.

Can x-rays be done during pregnancy?

X-rays are perfectly safe to have during pregnancy. Many dentists prefer not to perform X-rays during a routine check-up in the first trimester; however, the radiation levels are extremely low, and your dentist or hygienist will advise whether the x-rays are necessary whilst you are pregnant or if they can wait until after the birth.

What type of treatments are safe throughout a pregnancy?

Anaesthetic, for numbing and relaxation, can be safely used during pregnancy. Your dentist will use low concentrations of an appropriate anaesthetic.

Tooth extractions and fillings are safe throughout pregnancy but the preferred time for these procedures is during the second trimester. This also applies to root canals; the procedure can be performed during pregnancy, preferably during the second trimester.

Orthodontic work is equally safe throughout pregnancy, the only issue may be weight gain which can cause your mouth and face to change shape.

If this occurs, the braces would need to be adjusted or new braces made. Swollen and inflamed gums may also make the wearing of bracing feel uncomfortable. Many dentists recommend expectant mums to wait until the baby is born before starting orthodontic work.

When is the best or safest time to receive treatments during pregnancy?

Although dental treatment is safe throughout pregnancy, it is preferable to postpone treatment until the second trimester when the development of the baby’s organs is complete, and you’ve gone through the first trimester’s nausea and vomiting issues.

However, if there’s an emergency during your first trimester then book an appointment with your dentist immediately, as an infection could harm both you and baby.

Treatments can be performed during the third trimester, although getting comfortable in the dental chair when you’re between 26 and 40 weeks pregnant can be a challenge.

The best diet during pregnancy for your teeth

Eating a healthy balanced diet is important for overall health for both you and baby. It’s also important for maintaining oral health and for your baby’s developing teeth. Eat a wide variety of fruit, vegetables, whole grains and dairy products.

Try to avoid sugary and starchy foods and avoid foods that deplete your calcium supply, such as salt, caffeine, alcohol and fizzy, sugary drinks. Choose calcium rich foods such as broccoli, yoghurt, salmon and almonds.

Post-birth Dental Care & Dental Appointments

Visit your dentist for a postnatal check-up within a couple of months after you’ve had your baby. If you’ve had oral issues during pregnancy, then it is highly advised to schedule an appointment sooner.

It’s recommended that you take your little one for his/her first dental appointment at around 6 months or when their first tooth erupts. Your dentist will be able to check for any oral abnormalities and it will slowly get your baby used to going to the dentist and will create a positive experience for them.

To book your dental check-up appointment today call us on 01908 260757 or contact us here.

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