Here are a few tips about taking care of your teeth and your gums while you’re pregnant:
Tip #1 Prevention
It means that before getting pregnant if you can visit your dentist and your hygienist. Your dentist – to get a full checkup for your gums, your teeth, and jaw bone.
If you have any hidden cavities and your large cavities that could possibly give you a problem while you’re pregnant, pain or otherwise, it should be treated as soon as you can before getting pregnant.
Visit your hygienist to remove any of the calculus or debris that’s on the teeth that could be causing gum disease. Gum disease is crucial, especially if you’re pregnant because it could go through your bloodstream and into your baby’s bloodstream, which could cause premature labor. It’s important to get a cleaning done before and during pregnancy.
Tip #2 Keep up with the hygiene
You want to come in every six months for the cleaning. It’s so important, especially during your pregnancy, because the gums may be very inflamed from the hormones. There could also be swelling, redness, or bleeding, and the cleanings really help reduce that as much as we can.
You want to make sure that you brush with fluoridated toothpaste. Sometimes with nausea, especially in the first trimester, many patients complain that they can’t brush because the fluoride makes them sick. But you should try as best as you can to brush for two minutes each time in the morning and at night all the surfaces really well.
If you do experience nausea or vomiting, just give yourself a half-hour break to let the saliva neutralize, and then the pH level can become a little bit more alkaline, so you can brush better. You don’t want to brush straight after vomiting because an acidic environment can be damaging to the teeth.
Flossing is going to help save your gums and teeth and remove all harmful bacterias so it doesn’t go through your bloodstream and into your baby’s bloodstream.
Tip #3 Diet
What you eat is very important during pregnancy for you and your baby’s health.
You should eat healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, cheese, nuts, and you want to make sure that you lessen the amount of sugar or acidic foods that come from juices and soda.
And make sure you drink lots and lots of water. Water is always washing your mouth, debris, and bacteria on the teeth. That helps to neutralize the pH level in your saliva. So, drink lots and lots of water throughout your pregnancy. You can even use sugar-free gum and xylitol-containing chewing gum, which helps as well.
Tip #4 Professional oral care
We get a lot of questions from pregnant mothers and breastfeeding mothers about what’s safe to get done and what’s not safe in the dental office.
Dental treatments can be done at any time throughout the pregnancy, but we still limit it to doing it during the second trimester, mostly because in the first trimester, you could be nauseous or feeling just uncomfortable in the chair, so we kind of avoid it unless it’s needed.
Then in the third trimester, you could be feeling big and heavy, sense pressure in the back, so you want to avoid long treatments and long appointments in the dental chair. So, we recommend you do it in the second trimester if the pregnancy is going well and everything is smooth.
Having said that, if there is an emergency and severe pain, we need to address that pain as soon as possible. We do have an aesthetic that is completely safe for pregnancy and for breastfeeding.
There is also a widespread question about x-rays, which can actually be taken during pregnancy, but we still try to avoid it only for emergency cases.
Another question that a lot of patients ask about is whitening. We prefer to do a whitening after the pregnancy and after breastfeeding.
In general, after saying all these tips, the most important thing that we want you to keep in mind is to keep up with your dental checkups and your dental hygiene every six months as best as you can.