Mother’s Dental Health
With a baby on the way or a newborn at home, one of the last things you have time to think about it your teeth. Cravings are out of control, your clothes no longer fit, and your body is in the midst of one of the biggest changes it will ever go through. However, by not practicing good dental health during and after your pregnancy, you could be putting your smile as well as your baby’s at risk. With just a few extra steps, you can make sure that dental health is one of the last things you have to worry about during this important time during your life.
There are some myths that it’s not safe for pregnant women to go to the dentist because of X-rays and other dental procedures could be harmful to the baby. However, the National Institutes of Health suggests that at the very minimum you should continue with routine dental appointments during your pregnancy. While it is safe to have X-rays done during pregnancy you may choose to forgo X-rays until after delivery. It is also a good idea to visit your dentist in Spring Hill if you are planning to get pregnant or soon after you become pregnant. This crucial visit can insure that your teeth and gums remain healthy throughout your pregnancy.
Your prenatal vitamins that you are taking are also helping you smile among many other things. It is important to increase your calcium intake during pregnancy to support your baby’s development, especially during the third trimester. Prenatal vitamins contain calcium and vitamin D that will also help keep your teeth healthy during this time.
Gingivitis is one of the most common dental issues for expectant mothers. Increased levels of progesterone creates more acid in the mouth during pregnancy, which can lead to gingivitis. Some symptoms are red, swollen gums that bleed during brushing or flossing. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to pay a visit to your Spring Hill dentist because if left untreated, it can become a serious gum disease called periodontitis. This increased acid can also travel to your baby, which increases the chances of premature birth and low birth weight. Another oral health risk is tooth decay, especially if you have suffered from morning sickness. The acid in your mouth breaks down tooth enamel when you vomit. If you have experienced frequent morning sickness, the level of acid in your mouth increases, as does the risk for tooth decay. Serious tooth decay can lead to cavities and even tooth loss. Even after the baby is born, breastfeeding moms are also at a higher risk for tooth decay if they don’t stay hydrated or from a lack of brushing of flossing. Nursing moms are also at risk for periodontal disease or gingivitis. Both are gum infections that can lead to bone loss around the jaw. In order to help prevent gum disease, it’s important to maintain a healthy diet and include lot of calcium and vitamin D. The American Dental Association also reports an increase in teeth grinding among moms who suffer from neck and facial tension as a result of breastfeeding.
The best way to prevent oral health risks is to step up your daily oral care. Make time to brush your teeth twice per day and thoroughly floss at lease once per day. Use a bacteria-killing mouthwash after brushing or between meals if you don’t have time to brush. Make sure to stay hydrated to fight off dry mouth and stick to a low sugar and starch diet. Routine dental procedures like cleanings, cavity fillings and X-rays are safe to be performed during pregnancy. Sitting in a dental chair may become uncomfortable the further along you are, so it is best to get these things done sooner rather than later.
As your Spring Hill Dentist, we are committed to working with all of our new and expectant moms to provide the best dental care possible throughout pregnancy. Contact Heinecke Family Dentistry today to schedule an appointment or new patient consultation to set you and your baby up for success!