Expectant moms have concerns regarding medication and dental safety while being pregnant. It’s important to keep up with regular oral exams and teeth cleaning at a time when some hormone levels have changed due to pregnancy.
EFFECTS OF PREGNANCY AND DENTAL CARE
Hormones are on the rise in an expectant mom. This can lead to swollen gums, and excessive bleeding and can be of concern for example in situation involving trapped food that irritates the gums. You can avoid many of these problems with preventative oral care before, during, and after pregnancy. Maintaining healthy teeth and gums can ward off gum disease and oral infection. Dental problems in an expectant mom can affect the health of the baby and is associated with premature labor.
PREVENTATIVE DENTAL CARE BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER PREGNANCY
Preventative dental care should begin early in life and maintained throughout adulthood. If you’ve never had good care for your teeth and gums before pregnancy, it’s not too late to start! Here are some basic steps you can take to ensure good oral health:
- Make a regular dental appointments with our office before pregnancy for a routine dental exam, teeth cleaning (every 3 months) and dental treatment.
- Be sure to alert the dentist and staff to your pregnancy (or possible pregnancy) and ensure they take proper measures for your safety and that of your developing baby (e.g. possibly no teeth whitening during pregnancy, or while breastfeeding).
- Consult with your obstetrician to determine if there are any unusual precautions required when visiting your dental professional. Usually, a dental examination, teeth cleaning, and dental treatment can be carried out as normal.
- Follow proper oral care practices to ensure healthy teeth and gums.
- If morning sickness affects how you feel when brushing teeth, you may need to switch to a blander-tasting toothpaste. Your dentist can advise you on various options.
- If you have morning sickness, rinse your mouth often.
- Limit all sugary foods and snacks.
- Choose a wholesome, balanced diet, good for you and your developing baby. Include plenty of dairy products like yogurt and cheese, necessary for the growth of healthy teeth, bones, and gums for your new little one.
ARE MEDICATIONS SAFE?
There is conflicting data regarding medications and how they affect your children in utero. Discuss options with us to protect the health of your unborn child. If antibiotics are required as part of your treatment, there are category B options safe to take while expecting, such as Amoxicillin, Penicillin, and Clindamycin. Regarding medicines and their effect on dental and oral health, provide the dentist with names and dosages of any medications that you are taking. The dentist can then advise you if there are any concerns that require an action to protect the dental health of you and your baby.
HOW X-RAYS AFFECT THE EXPECTANT MOM
X-rays are largely considered safe during pregnancy, but we generally wait until after the baby is born, or until you are done breastfeeding. If an X-ray is absolutely necessary, precautions are taken to ensure your thyroid and abdomen are protected and shielded during the process.
Our dental office puts great emphasis on proper oral hygiene and preventative care for all patients, including our special expectant moms. Contact us at 519-305-9100 with any questions and concerns about your pregnancy or if you’re planning to have children.