When you’re expecting a baby, getting good prenatal care is a given, but so is proper oral care. Now is not the time to skip a trip to the dentist!
It’s important to take good care of your teeth and gums while you’re expecting since pregnancy causes hormonal changes that can increase your risk of developing gum disease and can cause tender gums that bleed easily (pregnancy gingivitis). Remember that your oral health can affect both your pregnancy and your baby’s health.
Good dental care improves a woman’s general health overall and may also reduce the transmission of oral bacteria from mother to infant, according to the ADA. “Maintaining good oral health also may have a positive effect on cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other disorders.”
If you can, try to make a dental appointment before you get pregnant. That way, your teeth can be professionally cleaned and any oral health problems can be treated right away. Delaying treatment can lead to more complex problems.
If you are pregnant, here are some tips to remember:
- Routine dental care is safe during pregnancy, but be sure you tell your dentist when you are pregnant so that he or she can assess if any treatments might need to be avoided.
- Tell your dentist the names and dosages of all drugs you are taking – including prenatal vitamins.
- Discuss whether you need X-rays during your visit. Advances in technology have made X-rays much safer today than in past decades.
- Pay close attention to any changes in your gums during pregnancy. If tenderness, bleeding or gum swelling occurs, talk with your dentist right away.
- As always, follow good oral hygiene during pregnancy to prevent problems. Avoid sugary snacks. The more frequently you snack, the greater the chance of developing tooth decay. Drink plenty of water with snacks.
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet. Your baby’s first teeth start to develop about three months into pregnancy. Dairy foods in particular are good for baby’s developing teeth, gums, and bones.
- For more detailed information on what is safe and what to avoid while pregnant click here.
If you have any questions or concerns about your oral health, don’t hesitate to call Wynkoop Dentistry at: 303-572-4487.
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