Your Pregnancy Can Affect Your Oral Health
If you are expecting a new addition to your family this year, then our team at Beaumont Family Dentistry wants to wish you our heartfelt congratulations. Your life will never be the same when you have a little one at home.
Even if you aren’t pregnant but plan to be some day, we encourage you to read today’s post.
You already know that your body has or will undergo a number of changes during your pregnancy. As you baby grows, your hormones are affected.
That’s one of the reasons we want to encourage you to pay particular attention to your oral health during your pregnancy. If you have questions at any time, we welcome you to call our dentists in Lexington.
Whether you are pregnant or not, preventive care is always the best way to keep your mouth healthy. Let’s do a quick review of what you need to do.
First, remember to brush your teeth twice each day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste with the ADA Seal of Acceptance. You need to brush for two minutes each time, and you want to be sure that you scrub your teeth on all sides.
You also need to floss once every day. When you brush, you can’t get between your teeth or under your gumline. By flossing, you can clean those harder to reach places and remove more bacteria and plaque.
The ADA also recommend rinsing every evening with a fluoridated mouthrinse. Fluoride helps to strengthen the protective enamel on the outside of your teeth.
Be Aware Of Gum Disease
Gum disease is more common than most dentists and hygienists would like, but pregnant women are at higher risk of developing gum disease because of change in their hormones.
Brushing and flossing are both ways you can combat this, but like we said, the changes happening in your body may require you to be more vigilant about periodontal disease.
Here are some of the symptoms you should watch for:
- Gums that bleed easily
- Red and swollen gums
- Sore and tender gums
- Receding gums (gums that are pulling away from your teeth)
We recommend coming to see us if you notice any of these symptoms or other changes in the appearance of your gums. We don’t want your gum disease to advance to the point where it could cause your teeth to feel loose in your mouth.
If you do develop periodontal disease, we offer non-surgical gum disease treatments, which are more comfortable and also allow you to recover faster than you would with surgery.
Eating For Two
We probably don’t have to tell you this, but everything you eat during your pregnancy affects the development of your baby, too.
Your baby’s teeth start to develop between the third and sixth months of your pregnancy. We know they may not erupt for six months or so after you have given birth to your son or daughter, but your dietary choices will help him or her develop strong teeth.
At this time, it’s important to get your recommended amounts of calcium, phosphorous, and vitamins A, C, and D.
Now, we are not about to tell a pregnant woman what to eat, but keeping healthy snacks like fruits and vegetables, cheese, and yogurt can make it easier to get the nutrients you need and reduce your risk of developing tooth decay. It’s important to follow your doctor’s advice regarding your diet during this time.
Practice Safe Dental Care
You may be wondering how safe it is to visit the dentist during your pregnancy.
First and foremost, routine care including cleanings and examinations is safe during your pregnancy. If you need X-rays, we can take steps to protect your baby from exposure to radiation.
Also, please remember to let your dentist or hygienist know how far along you are and if you have had any complications. If you are taking any medications, it’s important for us to know this as well.
As happy as you will be when your baby arrives, you will not miss morning sickness.
One of the risks of vomiting is that the acids in your stomach can attack your teeth. You can reduce those risks by mixing a teaspoon of baking soda into a glass of water and rinsing your mouth after a bout of morning sickness.
It’s Always OK To Ask Questions
Pregnancy is exciting and scary and joyous all at the same time. The staff at all three Beaumont Family Dentistry locations in Lexington wants you to know that we are happy to help you however we can and to answer your questions about how pregnancy could be affecting your oral health.
To make an appointment, call the office closest to your or click on the name of the site to use our online form.
And when your baby is born, please bring him or her by to see us. We would love to meet your son or daughter.