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How should I Care for my teeth during Pregnancy?

How should I Care for my teeth during Pregnancy-min

It's important to take care of your body when you are pregnant. This includes your teeth and gums. A healthy mouth and good dental habits are an important part of a healthy pregnancy.

Regular brushing and flossing can help keep your teeth and gums healthy. Good nutrition is also important for a healthy mouth. So make sure to eat a balanced, nutritious diet and get enough vitamins and minerals.

These healthy habits are important for your baby too. A child's dental care really starts with the mother's healthy pregnancy, because baby teeth start to form before birth.

How does your mouth change during pregnancy?

How does your mouth change during pregnancy-min

Some changes in your mouth during pregnancy are normal. They should go away after your baby is born. When you are pregnant, you have more blood flow to the mucous membranes of the mouth and gums. This may cause your gums to bleed, especially when you brush your teeth. Your gums also may be more swollen than usual. Using a toothbrush with soft bristles may help.

Your teeth might feel loose while you are pregnant. This usually doesn't cause any problems. It should go away after pregnancy.

If you have morning sickness or digestive problems like reflux, stomach acid in your mouth can weaken your teeth. This makes cavities more likely. Regular brushing can help. It may also help to rinse out your mouth. Try a mixture of one teaspoon of baking soda in a cup of water. You might also ask your doctor if you can take over-the-counter medicine for reflux.

Dental care before pregnancy

What should be done before pregnancy?

  • Brush your teeth and gums morning and night.
  • Use a small, soft toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.
  • Plain tap water is the best drink.
  • Frequent snacking on sweet foods, soft drinks, cordials and fruit juice can lead to dental erosion and tooth decay.
  • Visit your dentist for a check-up.
  • If you’re a smoker, think about quitting.

Don’t Neglect Your Teeth When You’re Expecting

Don’t Neglect Your Teeth When You’re Expecting-min

 

Many women wonder whether they can or should see a dentist during pregnancy, and the answer is most definitely YES!

Routine Care

Dental check-ups and cleanings during pregnancy is recommended because the “rise in hormone levels during pregnancy causes the gums to swell, bleed and trap food causing increased irritation to your gums. Preventive dental work while pregnant is essential to avoid oral infections such as gum disease, which has been linked to pre-term birth.”

In addition, pregnancy can increase acidity in the mouth, which can cause to tooth decay. Frequent morning sickness and vomiting can contribute to this problem.

Pregnancy hormones can also cause teeth to loosen as the ligaments in the jaw relax, so it is beneficial to have your dentist check your teeth for any complications.

Why Visit a Dentist during Pregnancy?

Gum Diseases Are Detected Early

As mentioned, gum disease is common in pregnant women. The dentist will not only examine your teeth but your whole oral health. Pregnant or not, many women (as well as men) do not even know they have gum disease. It helps when these diseases are detected early so they can be treated right away.

If You Have Fillings, You May Want to Have Them Checked

Your dentist will take a look at your fillings to ensure they remain secure. Improper hygiene is one of the biggest reasons why your fillings can become defective. They could also have decay, which the dentist can spot quickly.

If You Have Bad Breath, You May Want to Know Why

If you follow a strict regimen that includes brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing, you may already be confident in your smile. However, if you have bad breath even with good oral hygiene, it tells you that something is wrong. Your dentist can examine the problem and treat any existing oral conditions.

Visiting the dentist can also allow you to have your current oral hygiene examined. This way, you can build a better routine when taking care of your teeth and the entire mouth. Whatever advice you receive, it is highly recommended that you maintain and turn it into a habit.

What’s Allowed And What’s Not Allowed?

Before you enter your dentist’s office, you may already have a lot of questions in your head. Is it safe for you to be exposed to radiation, such as an X-ray? Are there medications you should avoid? Your dentist already knows what is good for you. However, it does not hurt to know what to expect, along with the things that you can and cannot go through.

Are X-rays Bad for Pregnant Women?

Are X-rays Bad for Pregnant Women-min

We have heard about stories regarding pregnancy and radiation, which is emitted from the X-ray machine. Today, X-ray technology has changed in a way that the machine emits low-dose radiation. Even with this technology, all dentists try to minimize radiation exposure, and will only take an x-ray when a woman is pregnant if it is absolutely needed.

During X-rays, your dentist will ask that you wear a lead apron, which is effective in minimizing radiation exposure. At the same time, you will also wear protection for the neck called the thyroid guard.

One important thing to remember is that even though X-rays are safe for pregnant women, they are generally considered the safest in the second trimester. Nevertheless, if you have an emergency, such as you are experiencing extreme pain, the X-ray procedure will carry on. It applies even to those who are in their first trimester, as well as those who are planning to conceive.

Can You Have a Tooth Extraction While Pregnant?

The main objective of any dentist is for you to retain your tooth. Even when there is a problem, it will be diagnosed first, so the dentist will know how to treat it. As much as possible, tooth extraction will be avoided. However, there are occasions when pulling some teeth out is necessary.

When your tooth is already damaged and can no longer be saved, there may not be any choice but to remove it. Severe tooth decay is one of the emergencies that many pregnant women go through. They would often want the problem tooth to be removed because of the pain and discomfort.

Many people who complain about intense tooth pain will avoid brushing their teeth. Pregnancy requires you to maintain good oral hygiene. Not brushing regularly can lead to cavities that can get worse. Therefore, pulling a tooth out is needed during extreme cases. This way, your oral health will be preserved.

As much as possible, though, dentists avoid working on women who are in their first trimester. If you are still on this stage of pregnancy, your dentist may ask you to wait until you reach the second trimester. This way, the unborn baby will not have to deal with the radiation, despite it being at extremely low levels. Once again, the exception is when the pain is intolerable, or your case is an emergency.

If you are on your third trimester, it may be difficult for you to stay on your back for several minutes or hours. Unless you can take it, the dentist may tell you to wait until you have given birth. Therefore, the best time is on your second trimester when everything is still bearable.

What if the Procedure Requires Anesthesia?

What if the Procedure Requires Anesthesia-min

Relating to the scenario above, you cannot have a tooth pulled without local anesthetic. You do not have to be worried as the dentist injects this. The local anesthetic used is in the smallest possible concentration, rendering it safe even for pregnant women.

You may agree that pulling a tooth out is an incredibly tense and stressful moment. When the mother is stressed, so is the fetus. It is essential for the dentist to protect you and your child. Therefore, the wellbeing of the baby is also considered, which is why the lowest concentration of anesthesia is utilized.

An important thing to note when visiting the dentist for a specific treatment is to disclose your pregnancy. If you do not have your baby bump yet, the dentist may not be able to tell whether or not you are pregnant. In this case, it all lies to you.

You should always tell your dentist about your pregnancy – and even if you are still in the trying stage. This way, the dentist can adjust the concentration of the anesthesia. As you may have already guessed, not all anesthetics are usable when you are pregnant.

Can You Have Your Teeth Whitened During a Prenatal Dental Visit?

Teeth whitening, in general, along with other treatments that are mainly for cosmetic purposes, will not harm your unborn child. These procedures are actually safe for all pregnant women. However, many dentists will advise you against having them done until you have given birth.

Dentists agree that tooth whitening is safe. Some dentists recommend that you should delay having your teeth whitened until after your pregnancy.

Is It Safe to Get Braces?

Is It Safe to Get Braces-min

To be fitted for braces means you need to go through an X-ray. Many orthodontists recommend that you postpone the procedure until you give birth. Orthodontic treatment does not usually require anesthesia, so they are safe during pregnancy. However, a number of x-rays will be needed before treatment starts and during treatment, so it is really best to wait.

Can You Have a Root Canal Treatment While You Are Pregnant?

Root canal treatments are necessary for those whose tooth decay has spread to the nerve endings, causing severe pain. The treatment involves removing the infected pulp. A crown that protects the tooth will also be placed.

You can receive this endodontic procedure no matter what stage you are in your pregnancy. Therefore, if you are suffering from pain due to tooth decay, you should not delay your dental appointment.

What about Medications?

Medications used in dental work may or may not be safe when pregnant. There are conflicting studies about them, especially their adverse effects on the fetus.

The most common medication is a local anesthetic, commonly known as Lidocaine. It is essential that you are comfortable throughout the whole treatment process and Lidocaine numbs the area, so you do not feel pain. This way, you and your baby will not be put under a lot of stress.

Common questions about dental care during pregnancy

I’m in my second trimester of pregnancy. Can I get my teeth cleaned?

Treatment during every trimester is safe. However, the second trimester is the safest trimester in which to get dental treatment. The third trimester is safe, but the patient might have a hard time laying back for extended period of time.

For the most part, there is no medical need to defer most common dental treatments until after pregnancy. In fact, some experts believe there might be an association between periodontal disease and poor pregnancy outcomes, such as preterm birth and preeclampsia. Some providers will encourage women to wait for dental care until after the first trimester to reduce the risk of miscarriage. In our opinion, there is no increased risk for miscarriage with dental care and it is not recommended delaying needed treatment.

If major dental work or elective orthodontics is planned, patients might wish to consider waiting until after delivery. This is our general recommendation with most medical procedures. If it’s necessary for your health, have the procedure. If it’s elective or it can wait, that’s often the safest choice.

Which antibiotics can I take to prevent or treat a tooth infection?

Penicillin and amoxicillin are safe choices during pregnancy, as are cephalosporins, such as cephalexin. Avoid tetracycline because it can cause tooth staining in the fetus.

What can I take for pain control after a dental procedure?

What can I take for pain control after a dental procedure-min

Acetaminophen in combination with a narcotic drug, such as codeine or hydrocodone, is commonly prescribed and is safe during pregnancy. Dentists encourage patients to use as short a course of such drugs as possible following procedures to reduce the risk of opioid dependency. Patients should be counseled to transition to non-narcotic pain relievers, such as plain acetaminophen, as soon as possible. As such, dentists should not prescribe a 30-day supply of any opioid drug. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, are not recommended during pregnancy.

What about dental care after the baby is born?

After childbirth, continuing with your own dental care and your baby’s is very important. Continue brushing your teeth regularly and purchase an infant toothbrush and infant toothpaste without fluoride to keep the baby’s gums and budding teeth healthy. Doctors also advise new parents to avoid putting babies to bed with bottles because it can lead to tooth decay.

Schedule your baby’s first dentist appointment at six months or when the first tooth comes in. The dentist will check for tongue-tie and other oral issues that can delay speech and other functions. Also, seeing a dentist regularly will help the baby get used to it and potentially reduce the fear of seeing a dentist later in life. Remember, good dental health is key to overall wellness, and pregnancy is an optimal time to establish healthy habits. If you’re concerned about an upcoming trip to the dentist during pregnancy, call your dentist for recommendations and clarification.

Should I Still Schedule an Appointment With My Dentist if I Am Trying to Get Pregnant?

The answer is a resounding yes. If you are still not pregnant, but trying to be, you mustn’t stop visiting the dentist. This way, if there are any problems, they can be detected early. Regular dental check-ups can significantly reduce your risk of dental emergencies before you conceive.

Will I Lose a Tooth With Every Pregnancy?

It is a myth that mothers will lose a tooth each time they get pregnant. This folklore may have stemmed from the fact that many women tend to suffer from gingivitis during pregnancy. Gingivitis is a type of gum disease where the gums become sore and tender.

Gingivitis can be prevented when you take care of your oral health. Keep your teeth clean at all times, which is why your dentist may tell you to have more frequent cleanings. If you see that there are changes in your gums or your mouth as a whole, make sure that you see your dentist right away.

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