There is an old wives’ tale that says women can expect to lose a tooth with every pregnancy. But Dakota Dental has good news: this does not have to be true!
During pregnancy there is a rise in hormones, including estrogen and progesterone, which can cause gums to swell and bleed. Gums in this state also can trap food, causing even more irritation. And to add insult to injury, non-cancerous growths can develop when those swollen gums become irritated.
So what does an expectant mother need to maintain her oral health? First, preventive dental care includes eating a balanced diet. Not only does this keep a mom’s mouth healthy, it provides the calcium and nutrients a child needs while his teeth are forming. The next steps in taking care of your teeth include brushing twice a day and flossing once a day.
At Dakota Dental, we know that morning sickness can put a crimp in taking care of your teeth. Changing to bland toothpaste may help prevent an episode of nausea. If brushing triggers the gag reflex too much, be sure to rinse often with water or a mild anti-plaque, fluoride rinse. Be especially conscientious about rinsing after meals and after morning sickness to prevent the decay of teeth.
Cleanings and exams are also important to prevent dental health issues. Dakota Dental encourages hygiene visits at three-month intervals to prevent “pregnancy gingivitis.” Gum infection (periodontitis) is linked to premature labor, so hygiene visits are especially important. Patients are encouraged to complete restorative work during the second trimester (after nausea of the first and before the size of the baby makes lying in the chair for prolonged periods uncomfortable in the third). Most new mothers find they are overwhelmed, and waiting until delivery to complete needed treatment sometimes means this treatment is postponed too long – risking abscess, infection, or tooth loss.
However, while most procedures can be safely performed without concern for the baby, it is best to wait until after delivery for tooth whitening, dental x-rays, or procedures requiring nitrous oxide (except in cases of extreme anxiety or necessary extraction or root canal therapy).
Dakota Dental Apple Valley family dentistry is committed to providing quality family dental services. If you are pregnant or planning to be, contact the distinctive dentistry team at Dakota Dental. Our Apple Valley dentists would be happy to work with you to plan and maintain good oral health during pregnancy and beyond.
Contact Dakota Dental by visiting www.DakotaDental.com or calling the Dakota Dental office at 952-431-5774.