During pregnancy your teeth may be the last thing on your mind. They shouldn’t be. Good oral care is one of the most important prenatal habits you can practice.
If trying for a baby, it is recommended that you see a dentist before you become pregnant. A pre-pregnancy dental cleaning and checkup is essential to determine whether there are any potential issues that need to be addressed.
Once you become pregnant, avoid any unnecessary dental work. Regular dental checkups are fine during the second trimester, but care must be taken when performing dental procedures during both the first trimester and second half of the last trimester.
Tell your doctor about any medications or supplements you are taking. Certain medications, such as tetracycline, may harm the fetus. All dental X-rays should be avoided during pregnancy. If they are necessary in an emergency, extreme safety precautions should be taken.
During pregnancy, women are at heightened risk of periodontal disease. This condition, often referred as pregnancy gingivitis, causes tender gums that bleed easily.
Maintain good oral hygiene during pregnancy by brushing, flossing and rinsing regularly. If brushing your teeth worsens morning sickness, try a bland-tasting toothpaste.
Unfortunately dental emergencies do occur despite the baby bump. Sometimes, it’s difficult to find a provider to care for you during pregnancy. There are dentists who refuse to see pregnant patients due to liability concerns. Be sure to check with your dentist regarding his or her policies on pregnant women.
Last, but not least, maintain a healthy diet during pregnancy. Teeth begin to develop in the fetus at about three months. A diet rich in dairy products and yogurt will help encourage healthy teeth, gums and bones.