Keeping Teeth Healthy During Pregnancy

Keeping teeth healthy before, during and after pregnancy is critical to maintaining overall health and key to having a good dental experience once you actually become pregnant.

Women that are actively trying to conceive should plan on visiting their dentist for a thorough cleaning and exam before getting pregnant. The first trimester along with the second half of the third trimester are the most critical in the life cycle of the unborn child, so any procedure that introduces the possibility of bacteria entering the mother is to be avoided.

Emergencies may occur that require dental care, but the minimum treatment should be considered until the pregnant mom is outside of the parameters referenced. And always inform your dental provider that you are pregnant (if it isn’t obvious), and any medications being taken. [pullquote]Keeping teeth healthy before, during and after pregnancy is critical to maintaining overall health and key to having a good dental experience once you actually become pregnant.[/pullquote]

During pregnancy, the patient should anticipate many changes. Obviously, the body expands to accommodate the life growing inside. In addition to this big change, the woman experiences many hormonal changes. These hormonal changes are different for everyone, and don’t always produce the same result.

Some women may experience a dental condition where the gums become swollen, tender and may bleed. Using of a soft bristle tooth brush is recommended. Morning sickness may discourage patients from brushing, so rinsing with warm water or mouth wash is better than nothing.

If sore gums persist, seeing the dentist is advised. The onset of periodontal disease is a consideration, and a dental visit is the only way to get a correct diagnosis and treatment.

Many people don’t realize that the baby’s teeth start to form in the womb. That makes what mom eats critical to the formation of the child’s teeth. Consuming a well-balanced diet that includes nutritional foods like milk, cheese, and yogurt are helpful not only in keeping mom’s teeth and body sound, but baby gets a nutritional boost as well.

Sugary snacks and beverages should be kept to a minimum. This will help the patient avoid the potential of dental decay. Quite often throughout pregnancy, those hormonal imbalances result in cravings with sugar being a big temptation.

After the baby arrives, a visit to the dentist as soon as possible is advised, especially if not seen throughout the previous nine months. With the appropriate diet, proper rest, and an efficient oral hygiene regimen during pregnancy, this visit should be routine.

Call the office of Dr. John Withers at (940) 293-2635 to learn more about how to care for your oral health during pregnancy.