This one’s for the moms!
As your Portland pediatric dental office, we see a lot of our patients becoming big brothers or sisters. We love it! It’s a super special time in your family’s life.
If you’re pregnant, you’re probably worried about anything and everything that may affect your baby, understandably. A few of us are moms here at the office and Dr. Eddie has seen his wife go through three pregnancies. But when it comes to your dental care, there’s really no need to worry.
Annual exams and preventive dental care during pregnancy are not only safe, but recommended. In fact, you need to pay special attention to your dental health while pregnant, as your teeth and gums can be affected by the hormonal changes that take place during pregnancy.
Watch Out For These Things During Pregnancy
Morning sickness and increased levels of progesterone can result in some dental problems for pregnant women. Here’s what you should be on the lookout for:
- Pregnancy gingivitis (an inflammation of the gums) occurs because of changing hormone levels. Some women may experience bleeding when brushing or flossing, and red/swollen gums. This is actually quite common, and while annoying, it will resolve itself after delivery.
- Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is caused by bacterial infection that develops below the gum line. This disease damages the fibers that hold your teeth in place and can also affect the health of your baby. Studies have shown that expectant mothers with periodontal disease are at a higher risk of premature delivery and lower birth weights.
- Dry mouth comes from a decrease in saliva caused by hormonal changes. Chewing sugarless gum can help increase saliva production.
- Erosion of tooth enamel is always a risk associated with vomiting. As morning sickness and frequent vomiting are common during pregnancy, enamel erosion on the back of the front teeth is more likely to occur. Have your dentist check for any erosion at your checkup appointments.
How To Care For Your Teeth When Expecting
Tell your dentist you’re pregnant. If X-rays, medication, dental work or anesthetics are being considered, your dentist can weigh the risks and do what’s best for you and your baby.
Visit your dentist. Preventive dental care while pregnant is essential to avoid oral infections. When you find out you’re pregnant, make an appointment and speak to your dentist about how you can avoid pregnancy-related dental problems.
Brush regularly. As usual, brush at least two times a day for two minutes, and most definitely brush with toothpaste that contains fluoride.
Floss. Flossing at least once a day helps prevent pregnancy gingivitis and reaches food and debris between teeth that brushing alone cannot.
While we aren’t technically seeing you for your dental care here at Greenburg Pediatric Dentistry for your dental needs, we enjoy seeing our patients’ growing families and are excited for you! Please feel free to ask any questions and enjoy the rest of your pregnancy.
Dr. Eddie Lopez & staff, Greenburg Pediatric Dentistry