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Pregnancy & Oral Health

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When you are pregnant, your oral health is important for you and your baby.  There are lots of changes in your body and you may have a lot of questions.  Here are some great tips, facts, and insights that may help guide you during this wonderful – yet different – time in your life. This includes what you need to do for your daily oral health, bleeding gums, tooth loss with pregnancy, caring for your teeth during morning sickness, an increased gagging reflex, when your baby’s teeth start developing, or whether it is safe to have x-rays or visit your dentist.

Do I Need to Change My Daily Habits?

If you’re already brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and cleaning between your teeth once a day, keep up the good work! If not, there’s no better time to start, as poor habits during pregnancy have been associated with premature delivery, intrauterine growth restriction, gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. Talk to your dentist about your routine and if you should make any changes. Shopping for you and your growing family? Look for dental products with the ADA Seal of Acceptance.

Why Are My Gums Bleeding?

With pregnancy come changes in your body, emotions and mouth. As many as half of all women develop pregnancy gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease that is most common between the second and eighth months of pregnancy. It usually goes away after childbirth. Hormones make your gums more easily irritated by plaque and can cause gums to be red, tender, sore and bleed. Brush twice a day for two minutes, clean between your teeth once a day, and talk to your dentist about other steps you can take to keep your gums healthy.

Do You Lose a Tooth with Each Baby?

No, this is an old wives’ tale. Losing a tooth is not a normal part of pregnancy, and if you do, you most likely already had an existing dental problem. You may, however, feel like your teeth are a bit loose. According to the Mayo Clinic, progesterone and estrogen can loosen the ligaments and bones that keep your teeth in place, even if you don’t have gum disease. Many times this goes away after pregnancy, but talk to your dentist if you feel like your teeth are moving when they shouldn’t.

I’m Struggling with Morning Sickness. What Should I Do?

Unfortunately, morning sickness can hit any time of the day. Vomit contains stomach acids that can eat away at your teeth, so waiting to brush after you’ve rinsed your mouth can help prevent those acids from doing damage. Instead of brushing, first swish and spit. You can use water, a diluted mouth rinse or a mixture of 1 cup of water and 1 tsp. of baking soda. Spit it out, and brush your teeth about 30 minutes later.

Is It Safe to See the Dentist During Pregnancy?

Yes! In fact, your dentist may recommend additional cleanings during your second trimester and early third trimester to help control gingivitis. If your last visit to the dentist was more than 6 months ago or if you notice any changes in your mouth, schedule an appointment. Always let your dental office know how far along you are when you call, and tell your dentist of any change in the medications you take or if you have received any special advice from your physician.

 

If you’re interested in learning more, please visit this link to read all of the information the ADA has provided.

 

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