Dental Care in Pregnancy
If you’re expecting a baby, dental care in pregnancy might not be one of your top concerns. But it should be.
Common conditions that arise during pregnancy can contribute to oral health issues. Those issues, in turn, can cause your overall health to deteriorate – exactly what you don’t want during pregnancy.
High Hormone Levels
That glow that marks you as an expectant mother doesn’t only come from your happiness. It also results from your increased hormone levels.
The same hormones that help your body nurture your little one also increase blood flow to your gums. This excess blood flow can cause bleeding and inflammation.
Without treatment, this condition can lead to gum disease. Gum disease doesn’t stop at your gums. It can also contribute to cardiovascular conditions, pneumonia, and complications during pregnancy and birth.
Precisely what you don’t need as a new mum. Especially when a prenatal dental check-up and cleaning can nip these conditions in the bud.
After your dental exam, be sure to brush and floss regularly. If you experience bleeding or sore gums, be sure to schedule a follow-up visit.
There’s another upside to getting preventative dental care during pregnancy. Studies show that your child will be more than five times less likely to have cavities later in childhood when you follow a strict oral health regimen during pregnancy.
One of the most unpleasant side effects of pregnancy is the acid reflux and vomiting that accompanies ‘morning sickness’ – i.e., pregnancy-related nausea. The acids released in your mouth during reflux or vomiting put you at greater risk for cavities.
For that reason, it pays to avoid acidic and fizzy drinks during pregnancy, as well as excessive sweets. If you do experience vomiting or acid reflux, rinse your mouth with a bicarbonate of soda solution immediately after it happens.
Jot down situations that trigger your nausea. Avoid them if possible. Eat smaller meals and keep hydrated.
If your symptoms become unmanageable, make an appointment with your obstetrician. There are both over-the-counter and prescription remedies that are safe during pregnancy. Excessive vomiting can cause an electrolyte imbalance – bad for you, bad for Baby.
After Baby Arrives
Parents often wonder when to start their newborn on an oral health regimen. Unless you or your paediatrician notices anything abnormal, such as difficulty in latching on to the breast or bottle, you needn’t schedule your child’s first check-up until their first tooth comes in or they reach their first birthday.
However, if your child seems to struggle to latch on, you should make an appointment with your dentist as soon as you can. A tongue tie – easy to correct with a minimally invasive procedure – may be the culprit.
From the day you first get the happy news until your children go off on their own, the caring team at Integrity Dental will support you all the way. Book your prenatal check-up today!