It’s quite common for expectant mothers to have questions about dental health during pregnancy. In general, most oral health habits should be continued as normal, with a few minor tweaks. The American Dental Association believes that if your mouth is healthy, it’s more likely that your baby’s mouth will be healthy, too!
To help you enjoy healthy gums and teeth during pregnancy, Dr. Kenneth Ingber has put together some guidelines as well as precautions you should take.
Maintain Good Oral Hygiene Habits
Continue to brush your teeth twice a day with an ADA-approved fluoride toothpaste, and floss once a day. Your diet is also important to the health of your teeth. Most women have a bigger appetite during pregnancy and snack more frequently between meals. Be smart about your snacks and try to reach for nutritious options, like raw fruits and vegetables, plain yogurt and cheese.
Continue to See Your Dentist
Dental exams and cleanings are safe for most women during pregnancy; in fact, the American Pregnancy Association recommends them.
When you call to schedule your appointment, be sure to tell us what stage of pregnancy you are in. During your appointment, identify any changes in your oral health, and tell Dr. Ingber about any changes in your medications and any specific advice you’ve received from your obstetrician.
If, for some reason, you need dental X-rays, don’t worry. X-rays emit very low levels of radiation. To be safe, we will cover you with a leaded apron and leaded thyroid collar to minimize exposure.
Keep an Eye on Your Gums
Pregnancy-related hormonal changes can cause the gums to swell, bleed and trap food more easily. Some women are prone to developing pregnancy gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease. The gums may look red and feel sore or tender. If you notice any of these symptoms, alert Dr. Ingber so he can examine your gums and prescribe treatment.
Protect Tooth Enamel
If you are experiencing morning sickness and frequent vomiting, the stomach acid could harm your teeth. After vomiting, rinse your mouth with water mixed with baking soda to neutralize the acid and prevent the enamel from eroding.
Emergency Dental Work: Emergency dental work (e.g., root canal, tooth extraction) is sometimes necessary during pregnancy and may be performed to reduce the risk of an infection and other complications. Small amounts of anesthesia may be safely administered to keep you comfortable during treatment and reduce the amount of stress on you and your baby.
Elective Dental Work: Although the risks of elective treatment like teeth whitening are very minimal, the American Pregnancy Association recommends postponing this type of dental work until after delivery.
Contact Dr. Ingber
If you have a question about dental health during pregnancy, or you would like to schedule an oral exam and cleaning, please contact Dr. Ingber today. Call 888-549-7682 or send us an email.