Protecting Teeth And Baby During Pregnancy

Posted on in Children

Pregnancy is a very vulnerable time for your teeth and gums. With pregnancy comes an increased level of estrogen and progesterone. These changes in hormones cause an increase in the plaque that builds up on the teeth. Plaque that is not removed can cause gingivitis and swollen gums that are tender and prone to bleed. In most women, gingivitis begins to appear around second trimester. Without treatment the gum conditions will worsen through the course of pregnancy.

Dental Care Before and During Pregnancy

Prior to becoming pregnant it is a good idea to have a dental examination so that any potential problems can be handled well in advance without complications.

Visit your dentist for your regular checkup to control plaque and maintain good oral health while pregnant. During pregnancy, if a dental emergency does arise, you can be treated but should consult your doctor if anesthesia is required or a medication is prescribed to you. Avoid x-rays during pregnancy, unless they are critical to the treatment of the emergency.

A Healthy Diet Helps

Studies have shown that the bacteria responsible for tooth decay is passed from the mother to the child so eliminating decay in your mouth before you get pregnant may help protect your baby. The more frequently you snack, especially on sweet foods, the more likely you are to get decay.

Expectant mothers should eat a healthy diet containing dairy products, cheese and yogurt for a good source of calcium and phosphorus. Calcium isn’t lost from your teeth because your baby is developing, but additional calcium and phosphorus are needed during pregnancy.

Your Teeth Are Vulnerable, Too

If you have morning sickness during pregnancy it’s important to rinse your mouth out with water or a mouth rinse afterwards. Brushing you teeth immediately after vomiting can cause your teeth to wear away. Your stomach acids soften the tooth making brushing more abrasive.

Fluoride helps protect and strengthen teeth, and is found in almost all brands of toothpaste and foods originating in areas with fluoridated water. However, you should talk to your dentist before you use a fluoride supplement.