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May 11th, 2015

The Ultimate Guide for Oral Health During Your Pregnancy

Category: cincinnati dentist, dental health

what to expect for your teeth when you are expecting
Did you know that having good dental hygiene habits during your pregnancy contributes to your baby’s health?

It’s true: oral care for expectant mothers is important for both you and your baby. With so much to think about during pregnancy, here is a guide detailing what you should know during your pregnancy.

1. Tell Dr. Hagen you are pregnant!

When you come to visit us, let us know the great news that you are expecting. When you let us know that you are pregnant, we’re able to walk you through the optimal oral care for the remainder of your pregnancy.

Typically, as a precautionary measure, specific dental treatments are adjusted, or altogether avoided, during your first trimester and the second half of your third trimester. Depending on the nature of the dental work, certain procedures may be recommended during points of your pregnancy if it will reduce the chance of an infection that can negatively affect your baby’s health or your pregnancy. Elective dental procedures, such as teeth whitening, should be postponed until after you have your baby.

2. Don’t skip your regular dentist check-ups with us.

Preventative dental care during pregnancy has been proven to protect you and you’re your baby’s health. If possible, come in to see us during your first trimester—but do not worry if that period has passed—it is still worth it to come in and see us!

Your dental visit will allow you to ask us any questions you have on how to handle tender gums, and we will also make sure you are working to prevent the plaque bacteria that can be a problem during this time.

3. “Pregnancy Gingivitis” is not a myth—but it is preventable.

You are well aware that there are hormone level changes during pregnancy. Your changing hormones often cause gums to swell or bleed abnormally, which is why the condition even has been termed Pregnancy Gingivitis. As much as 40 percent of women will develop gingivitis at some point during pregnancy.

For those that have gingivitis going into their pregnancy, they may also find that gums become even more tender and swollen. In some cases there can be severe bleeding that comes with Pregnancy Gingivitis.

Another possibility is “tooth mobility” during pregnancy, where bone and ligaments that support your teeth can be temporarily loosened. Several studies have suggested there a link between gum disease and premature birth, so when in doubt, come in and see us. When you do come in to see us for preventive dental work, it helps you avoid problems associated with gum disease, or any oral infections.

4. Don’t forget good daily care.

It goes without saying that brushing and flossing are important during this time, especially with the increased risk of gum irritation and/or inflammation. Talk to us about solutions that can help if you have trouble with morning sickness. Depending on your specific challenge, one solution might be a bland toothpaste during your pregnancy. We can recommend the ideal brand for you based on your entire oral health!

5. Don’t neglect your nutrition.

Phosphorus, Vitamins A, C, D, calcium, protein, and more… these are just a few of the vitamins and nutrients that are important to a health smile for your baby!

It’s no secret that during pregnancy you are eating nutritious meals. The principles of great nutrition are the same during your pregnancy, and absorption of those nutrients translates into positive growth and development for your baby. Your baby’s teeth begin to develop between the third and sixth month of your pregnancy, so eating a nutrient-filled diet is inherently good for your teeth, and also important for your baby.

6. After your baby is born, continue your good habits.

Continue your good oral health habits after you give birth. Because tooth erosion or an inflammatory response may have occurred during your pregnancy, oral health habits after you give birth are just as important. If you had any problems during pregnancy or if any treatments were delayed due to your pregnancy, be sure to come back and see us as scheduled.

Have any questions? Keep in mind you should ask us if you have any specific questions so that we can have your unique periodontal health evaluated. Schedule an appointment with us today.

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