When you are pregnant, your progesterone hormone levels will rise. This could cause excessive plaque buildup, swollen gums and bleeding when brushing. If left untreated this excess plaque could also cause infections, which could lead to gum disease. Taking regular visits to the dentist should be a part of your pregnancy routine. If you are planning for a baby, try to make a dental appointment before you get pregnant. If you have any root canals or cavities, they should also be treated in advance.
Tell Your Dentist You're Pregnant
Always inform your dentist if you are pregnant or trying for a baby. Unless you're in dire need of emergency dental treatment, surgical procedures should be avoided during your first and third trimester. These periods are the most critical for your baby's growth; therefore, procedures that could cause excess strain on your body and influence your baby's development should be avoided. You also should not have an X-ray while you're pregnant. While technology has made them safer than ever before, they still emit radiation.
You should also tell your dentist if you are taking any prescription medications or prenatal vitamins. Your treatment plan might need to be altered based on this information, especially if you require antibiotics for gum inflammations.
Change Your Morning Routine
Morning sickness can disrupt your morning routine and make you forget about brushing. It will also expose your teeth to excess stomach acids, which could cause erosion. Do not brush your teeth immediately after vomiting as the strong stomach acids could scratch your tooth enamel. Instead, rinse your mouth with water and lightly smear fluoride toothpaste on your teeth. Wait for at least one hour before brushing.
If brushing your teeth is triggering your gag reflex, try switching to a different flavour toothpaste, preferably something tasteless. In addition, use a small-headed toothbrush – such as those made for children – and slow down your brushing action.
Stay Extra Vigilant
Hormonal changes will make you more susceptible to periodontal disease and pregnancy gingivitis. Pay particular attention to your gums during your pregnancy. If they start swelling, bleeding or feeling tender, consult a dentist immediately. Even if your mouth feels just a little out of the ordinary, don't take any chances.
Remember, when you are pregnant you are at greater risk of tooth decay. While you may crave sugary snacks, try to avoid them. Eat a healthy, balanced diet and plenty of dairy products. Your baby's teeth will start to develop around three months into your pregnancy and dairy products will provide the vitamins and minerals that they require to develop healthy teeth and gums.
Talk with a dentist from a clinic like Runcorn Dental if you have specific questions about dental care.