Are you expecting a new addition to your family, or planning for a baby? Or have you ever wondered what impact your
oral health has on your unborn child? Perhaps this is something that never crossed your mind, and if that’s the case you are not alone. There’re surprisingly many women that are not aware of the interaction between their oral health and their baby.
Visiting the dentist while pregnant is highly recommended for your own wellbeing and that of your unborn child. Routine dental treatment is safe during pregnancy, however it’s the timing that’s important.
Many women can develop gum disease during pregnancy because of natural hormonal changes in the body. If gum disease becomes severe, the infection can affect an unborn baby’s development.
Preventative care appointments are vital in keeping potential gum disease at bay as it could lead to premature birth or a baby with low birth weight. It’s also important to get other necessary procedures done such as treating decay which would stop the transfer of decay-causing bacteria from you to your baby.
It’s good to get any procedures done by the second trimester. In the third trimester, it becomes difficult to stay comfortable. Once you’ve reached the third trimester, it’s best to postpone treatments until after the baby’s born, unless you absolutely need them. In any case, seeing a dentist will give you the opportunity to get the right advice.
During pregnancy, avoid taking radiographs until after the baby is born. However, should an emergency procedure require radiographs, our dentist can defer them for your peace of mind.
Although the dental care you’ll get while pregnant will probably be routine, there are a few points to remember:
• If you’re planning to have a baby, it’s wise to arrange a dental appointment before you get started. Your gums can be examined for good health, and if there are any problems, you can get them taken care of early.
• Inform us when you are pregnant so we can advise you of any special instructions and adjust your dental plan to suit.
• Focus on eating a balanced and healthy diet. Cravings are normal during pregnancy but remember that snacks will often increase your chances of tooth decay and gum disease. Eat a nutritious diet every day including fruits, vegetables, grains, beans and lean meats. Avoid the temptation in eating too many sweet foods.
• Your baby starts to grow his or her teeth after about three months. Make sure you’re getting plenty of calcium by eating enough yoghurt, cheese, and other dairy products. These foods also help your baby develop healthy bones and gums.
• Your growing baby's calcium demands are high so you should increase your calcium consumption to compensate.
• Pregnant women who experience morning sickness with vomiting and/or acid reflux have a high risk of tooth erosion. To reduce the risk of tooth erosion and damage to your teeth after vomiting/reflux you should:
- Rinse your mouth immediately with water or use a mouth rinse after vomiting.
- Chew sugar free gum to stimulate saliva to neutralise and wash away acid.
- Smear a small amount of toothpaste over your teeth with your finger.
- Wait at least 30 minutes before brushing to avoid damaging the softened enamel surface due to the acid.
Remember that getting dental care during pregnancy isn’t risky for mum and baby. In fact, it’s vital for the health of both.
If there are any issues that have been put off during the pregnancy, it’s best to get dental care as soon as possible post pregnancy. So, don’t delay the care you need as early detection of any problems have better outcomes and will save you money in the long run.
If you want to talk about any concerns, please visit our website Lydiard St Dental Clinic to contact us via phone or make your own appointment with our online booking system. Alternatively, you can leave a message on our Online Contact Form and we'll call you back as soon as we can. Our friendly team is always happy to help you. :)