02 Aug Pregnancy and dental care: Are you smiling for two?
While visiting the dentist may not be on the top of your pregnancy to-do list, getting a dental checkup during pregnancy is important for your oral health—and your baby.
Between gynecologist’s visits and ultrasound appointments, dental care is the last thing on your mind—but if you have a dental infection in your teeth or gums, the chances of premature birth are higher.
Pregnancy hormones—progesterone and estrogen—tend to spike in a woman’s body during pregnancy, putting the gums at risk of dental plaque formation.
Pregnant women usually experience dental problems as a result of hormonal elevation between months two and eight of pregnancy.
These reactions are evident in puffy and tender gums—and the gums are likely to bleed from flossing or blushing. In extreme cases, traditionally in the third trimester, burning sensation in the gums is experienced.
Read more: Flossing and weight loss
Signs of dental health problems during pregnancy:
- Bad breath
- Swollen gums
- Mouth sores and inflammation
- Gum diseases
However there is little the dentist can do to provide pain relief during the critical time of childbearing.
That’s why it’s important to ensure you don’t have gum disease before you conceive.
Fortunately, this can all be avoided when you book an appointment with one of our dentists.
Do’s and Don’ts of dental care before pregnancy
– Visit your dentists regularly
Make no mistake—do not skip on any dental visits and checkups. It’s recommended to start taking care of your dental health before you conceive.
Visit your dentist, get a professional dental cleaning and take care of your oral hygiene. Visiting the dentist while pregnant allows them to take care of regular dental cleanings and treatments like dental fillings before the baby is born.
– Use bland flavored toothpaste
Sometimes morning sickness during pregnancy makes it difficult for moms-to-be to brush. Switch to all-natural toothpaste that does not contain chemical substances.
– Brush, floss, rinse and repeat
Pregnant or not, brushing and flossing should be part of your daily dental hygiene routine. If you do not like flossing, try a flossing stick, which helps clean the teeth with comfort and ease.
– Watch for bleeding gums
If you notice any changes in your gums or bleeding, notify your dentists right away. This could be a sign of gingivitis, which could affect your pregnancy.
– Avoid x-rays
Although technological advances have made x-rays safer today than in the past, routine x-rays can usually be postponed until after the birth. In case of a dental emergency, your dentist will exercise extreme caution to safeguard you and your baby. Your dentist or hygienist will shield you with a leaded apron that will keep exposure to a minimum. The leaded apron will also cover your throat to protect your thyroid from radiation.
Frequently asked questions about oral health during pregnancy:
– Is it safe to see the dentist while pregnant?
Yes! Notify your dentist that you are expecting as soon as you find out. Let them know how far along you are and about the medications you are taking. Visiting your dentist for routine dental checkups during pregnancy is safe and recommended for both—you and your baby.
– Can you get dental treatments done while pregnant?
Preventative dental work, such as cavity fillings and root canals, should be done as soon as possible to reduce the risk of dental infection.
– Is local anesthesia for dental care safe during pregnancy?
Your dentist might give you a shot to numb part of the mouth. You can receive some local anesthetic for necessary
treatments. It is advised to have non-emergency dental procedures before pregnancy and postpone treatment that you do not need. However you should still undergo preventative treatment, including teeth cleaning and gum disease. Avoid diazepam or similar drugs if you are pregnant or expecting.
Whether you are expecting or not, proper oral health is no longer an option, but a necessity. Practicing good dental hygiene every day—such as brushing and flossing—can help you achieve healthy well-being and minimize the risk of premature and low- weight birth.
Speak to one of our skilled dentists in Dubai and learn about dental care in pregnancy—and what to expect when expecting!