When you are pregnant, it seems as though almost every part of your body changes. Your gums and teeth are no exception! It might surprise you to know that during pregnancy, you have special needs when it comes to your dental care. Take a look at these considerations that you should keep in mind.
Even if you have never had gingivitis or cavities in the past, it can be disconcerting to notice that your gums are tender, swollen, and maybe even bleeding. This is in response to your hormone levels. It’s normal and common, and it will get better once your baby is born.
You will need to be extra vigilant about brushing and flossing while you are pregnant. Switch to a soft toothbrush if you are experiencing tenderness, and talk to your dentist if your gums are bleeding when you floss.
It’s just as important as ever to see your dentist regularly when you are pregnant. Having your teeth cleaned is a good way to keep bacteria under control and also gives the dentist an opportunity to see if there are any areas of concern. It’s best to schedule your cleaning during your second trimester if possible; this is the time when you will be least likely to be nauseated and most likely to be comfortable while laying back in the dental chair.
In most cases, x-rays will be postponed until after your baby arrives. The exception would be if you were to be having a problem that was not able to be diagnosed with a visual exam. Your dentist will use a lead apron to shield your baby from any radiation; also, keep in mind that the radiation used for dental x-rays is extremely low.
It’s safe to have most dental work done during pregnancy. You can have local anesthetic and filling materials used at any point of your pregnancy if it’s needed. With that being said, any cosmetic or non-urgent work can be put off until after your delivery. Your dentist can talk to you about the benefits and risks of either going ahead with dental work or waiting until after the baby is born.
Please call us to schedule an appointment for a cleaning if you don’t already have one. If you do have one set and it’s during the early weeks of your pregnancy and you aren’t feeling well or during the last month or two of your pregnancy, call and find out whether it would be better to reschedule it.
Creative Commons image by Jacob Bøtter