Bringing a beautiful child into this world is one of life’s true gifts, as it is both joyous and magnificent on a number of levels. As any parent or soon to be parent knows, there is a plethora of things you have to consider when expecting, including diet, health and wellness, and how pregnancy will affect your daily routine.
As with most other aspects of your life while expecting, it is important to think about your oral health while pregnant. Of course, it is always important to maintain your oral health to the best of your ability, but it is critical to keep both your teeth and your gums healthy while pregnant.
So, what can you do when you are expecting? Follow these steps from experienced dentist Dr. Annette Middelhof to assure that you are doing all you can to maintain positive oral health:
Brush and Floss
This might be a no brainer, but preventing gum disease becomes essential when expecting. We always encourage proper oral care, however, many adults find themselves too busy to floss as much as they should. Pregnancy causes hormonal changes, which can cause you to be more susceptible to gingivitis, so make sure you are staying on top of your daily oral health routine.
Let Your Dentist Know
It’s important to let your dentist know that you are pregnant – even if you are in your first trimester, and haven’t told your family and friends. Routine dental procedures won’t be reason for alarm when expecting, but any major dental work and X-rays should be postponed until after your baby is born, unless it’s an emergency.
Go For Your Checkups and Cleanings
Being pregnant shouldn’t get in the way of your regular checkups. As we mentioned earlier, the hormonal shift that takes place during pregnancy could actually be detrimental to your gum health and cause gingivitis making it important to stay on top of regular checkups while expecting. Again, let your dentist know that you are expecting, but don’t put off cleanings until after your child is born.
Schedule Fillings in Your Second Trimester
The American Pregnancy Association recommends scheduling any dental fillings or routine dental procedures until your second trimester. Most fillings don’t require any harmful medications or drugs. The most commonly used drug for dental work is Lidocaine, which does not cross the placenta after administration. It is also best not to wait until your third trimester for dental work, as it can be difficult to lay on your back for long durations later in your pregnancy.
Eat a Balanced Diet
Even though strange cravings can be associated with pregnancy, it is important for expecting mothers to maintain a healthy and well balanced diet. However, it can be tempting to snack on an abundance of sweets. Of course you deserve to treat yourself to the occasional treat, but try to eat non-harmful foods whenever possible. With your gums being more susceptible to infection and gum disease, it is important to eat foods that promote oral health.
No matter what stage of life you are in, caring for your teeth is an important part of your overall well-being. We encourage patients to always be diligent about their oral health care. If you have questions, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Middelhof at our Plantation dental office.