Is Dental Care Important During Pregnancy?
Is dental care necessary for a pregnant woman? During these nine months, pregnant women need to be very careful in maintaining a balanced diet to have a healthy baby. One of the most important measures to take for a pregnant woman’s health, however, is proper dental care, not just during pregnancy, but after it as well. In the past, gynecologists usually didn’t refer expecting mothers to a dentist, and dental care was not considered to be very important for pregnant woman. But now, because medical research has demonstrated a strong link between the mouth and the whole body, dental care is considered to be important for pregnant woman. As your teeth play an integral role, obviously, in chewing food, if you don’t properly care for your dental health, then it may lead to gum diseases or other infections which may adversely affect your whole body.
Proper dental care and preventive dental exams during pregnancy are considered to be both safe and essential for expectant mothers. One of the main reasons for proper dental care during pregnancy is that the hormonal changes during pregnancy ultimately increase the risk of gum diseases. Occasionally, this can lead to pre-term labor.
Dental Work Recommended during Pregnancy
Pregnant mothers should get their teeth checked to make sure they don’t have any cavities, since cavities can lead to infection. For this purpose, usually gynecologists recommend a visit to the dentist in the second trimester. Similarly, emergency dental work, like root canal or tooth extraction, is recommended for pregnant women, but elective treatments like teeth-whitening or other cosmetic treatments should be postponed until after the birth.
Dental Medications Recommended during Pregnancy
Obviously, pregnant women shouldn’t use any medicine during pregnancy that could have an adverse effect on the baby. Thus, the best thing to do is simply to consult your dentist and gynecologist rather than experimenting by yourself as a professional can guide you better in deciding which medicines you can use during pregnancy. Lidocaine, for instance, is usually considered to be safe for pregnant women. Similarly, to treat infections, antibiotics like penicillin, amoxicillin, and clindamycin, labeled as category B, are considered to be safe for pregnant women.
Dental Treatment, X-rays, and Pregnancy
Usually X-rays are to be avoided during pregnancy, especially in the first and last trimesters. X-rays are usually taken to perform a lot of dental work, however, so X-rays are usually postponed until after birth.
Pregnancy and Dental Care Tips
- Avoid sugar. Although pregnant women crave different things that are sure to include sugar at some point, just remember the more frequently you eat sugary foods, the greater your chances of tooth decay will be. Research has shown that bacteria responsible for tooth decay may pass from the pregnant woman to the child
- If you’re experiencing morning sickness, visit your dentist to change to the right toothpaste brand for you to maintain proper hygiene and avoid making morning sickness worse
- Eat a healthy diet during pregnancy because you have to eat not only for you but also for your baby. As teeth play an important role in chewing food, take proper dental care during pregnancy to avoid infection, dental plaque, or gum disease
- Avoid the use of alcoholic mouthwashes
Pregnant women should not skip their dental visits just because they have so many other concerns during those nine months. Remember to pay particular attention to any change in your gums, and if you find any symptoms of gum disease, visit your dentist. Tell your dentist that you are pregnant, and he or she will take all the necessary precautionary measures to give you proper advice and treatment.