There are special considerations relating to the oral health during pregnancy, ranging from being at increased risk of gingivitis, a need to ensure adequate intake of certain vitamins and minerals key to oral health, to understanding which dental procedures may not be appropriate to maintain your oral health during pregnancy.
Pregnant women are more likely to develop gingivitis, making it important to look out for these signs of oral health during pregnancy. Your dentist can advise you on how to combat the effects of increased progesterone, helping you to avoid gingivitis. Informing your dentist when you’re pregnant will allow your dentist to recommend more frequent dental cleanings during the second trimester or early in the third trimester, when gingivitis is most likely to develop.
Key in keeping your dental and overall health in optimal shape is a balanced diet. Be sure to get enough calcium, vitamin D, C, and A, phosphorous and protein during the 3rd to 6th month of pregnancy because this is when a baby’s teeth begin to develop. Contrary to the belief that pregnant women lose calcium from their teeth through inadequate calcium intake, calcium loss actually occurs in bones. By maintaining a calcium-rich diet during pregnancy it will keep yours and your baby’s teeth and bones healthy and strong.
Maintain Your Oral Health During Pregnancy
It’s also important to let your dentist know if you’re pregnant so that your dentist can recommend safe procedures – and avoid any procedures that could be potentially harmful. It’s also important to discuss the timing of certain dental procedures such as new or replacement fillings with your dentist. Fillings should be delayed until after your baby is born, and most dentists advise that amalgams should not be removed during pregnancy. Certain dental procedures can be harmful to your pregnancy such as a dental X-ray. Usually your dentist will wait until you have had the baby even though most dental X-rays do not affect the abdomen or pelvic area. Let your dentist know about the medications you’re taking and if your physician has provided you with any specific medical advice. This will allow your dentist to assess whether it may affect any dental treatments or procedures.
Your dentist can also advise you on how to prevent oral health during pregnancy problems after your baby is born. The first trimester of pregnancy is the time that most of your baby’s major organs are developing. During this time, your dentist will only provide you with routine cleaning and check-ups. Postpone any major dental work until after the first trimester, but in cases of dental emergencies do not wait for the infection to spread before seeking medical treatment. Mouth infections can be harmful both for your baby and your health.
Don’t let dental problems frustrate you during this period of joy and excitement. Make this a memorable time while at the same time keeping in mind proper efforts to maintain your great oral heath while providing your future newborn with the best possible dental health foundation.
Dr. Charles Goldberg is an experienced dentist with several decades of experience. He and his partner are the official dentists of the Toronto Maple Leafs. His broad tem consists of periodontists in Toronto to orthodontists in Toronto.