Pregnancy can change a lot of things about your body, but did you know that it can even affect your teeth and gums? Here are a few things you should know about maintaining your oral health while pregnant.
You should maintain your usual dental hygiene routine. Brush your teeth twice a day using an ADA-accepted soft bristle toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Don’t worry, fluoride is perfectly safe during pregnancy. Continue to floss or irrigate between teeth every day as well. An antimicrobial rinse can help control plaque; ask your dentist for recommendations.
Regular dental checkups are not usually a problem when you are pregnant, but make sure to let the office know how far along you are when you make your appointment. In the third trimester, it may be difficult for you to lie on your back for very long, so adjustments might be needed. Routine x-rays can be postponed until after birth, but according to the ADA, dental x-rays are safe during pregnancy when proper shielding is used.
Notify your dentist if there is any change in your medications or if your doctor has given you any special advice. Especially if your pregnancy is a high-risk pregnancy or if you have any pre-existing medical condition.
Related Dental Concerns
There are a few specific dental concerns related to pregnancy. If you are vomiting a lot due to morning sickness, the stomach acid can take quite a toll on your teeth. To neutralize the acid, rinse your mouth with one teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in water. Pregnancy hormones can cause swelling and bleeding gums, which can cause pain and possibly even infection. If you experience this or any other kind of dental pain, check with your dentist for advice on how to treat it. It’s usually better to get necessary dental treatment while you are pregnant to avoid infection, but if you have concerns, discuss them with your dentist as well as your doctor.
Dr. Westmoreland and his staff are dedicated to giving you the best dental care possible. We perform dentistry for all ages and stages of life, including pregnancy and pediatric dentistry. If you have questions about dental care during pregnancy or you’d like to make an appointment, call our office or contact us today!