Proper oral care is important for our overall health and well-being, and even more so when you are expecting. Oral infections are communicable diseases and can be passed from a mother to the child, meaning improper dental practices and oral infections can adversely affect fetal development.
Everyone here at the Henderson, Nevada dental offices of Joshua M. Ignatowicz, DMD care deeply about all of our patients, including those still a couple of years away from needing to see us. If you or your significant other are pregnant or are planning to conceive, there are a few do’s and don’ts that you should be aware of.
- Get an early check-up – During your conception phase dental care should be high on the priority list. Make an appointment as soon as possible in order to treat cavities and infections early, get a professional cleaning and get an assessment on your overall dental health.
- Set an appointment for a mid-pregnancy check-up – Hormonal changes can result in oral issues, so make sure you visit your dentist after the first trimester to get a professional cleaning.
- Brush & floss regularly – During pregnancy it is common to develop gingivitis due to changes in hormones. To avoid plaque and tartar build-up make every attempt to brush your teeth after every meal in order to keep your oral cavity clean and hygienic.
- Rinse often – Everyone knows there a chance you’re going to suffer from morning sickness while pregnant – especially during that first trimester. If you do suffer from it be sure to rinse your mouth thoroughly after vomiting. The elevated acid and left over food particles can have a deteriorating effect on your teeth.
- Drink plenty of fluids – Of course drinking sufficient amounts of water during pregnancy has multiple benefits for your general health, but it is good for your oral health as well. Fluids wash the toxins out of your mouth and helps keep the gums healthy.
- Watch what you eat – Increase your intake of foods rich in fiber and wholesome foods like fresh vegetables, fruits, and dairy. Try to use fruits for snacking and consume vegetables as much as possible.
- Stay away from dental procedures – After conception x-rays and certain medications used for dental treatment can impact your baby’s growth. If you must have a procedure completed you should make every effort to schedule it during the second trimester only.
- Self-medication – Never treat bleeding gums or a toothache with over-the-counter drugs. See your dentist immediately and keep your OBGYN updated while getting treated for dental issues.
- Babying bleeding gums – Never avoid brushing even if you’re experiencing frequent bleeding. Simply use a brush with soft bristles and if it continues, come see us.
- Overactive sweet tooth – Don’t give in to every craving for sugary snacks. Try to limit your intake of sweets or foods and drinks high in refined sugar and when you do have to have that snack, rinse afterwards or chew sugar free gum for at least 10 minutes to help keep your gums and teeth healthy.
Good oral hygiene is always important but even more so when pregnant. Follow our tips above though in order to help ensure that you and your baby can have a happy smile afterwards. Visit our website to set your appointment or for more information about your oral health.