Getting Dental Treatment When Pregnant
Pregnancy is an exciting time with a lot of changes to your body. Many women find that their mouth also changes substantially when pregnant and that they are more vulnerable to decay and gum disease. With maternal teeth decay linked to preterm births for your baby, as well as the usual risks of fillings and root canals for the mother, make a point of including your general dentist, like Dr Bala Subramaniam Vasanthini B.D.S. for example, as part of your prenatal health team.
Brush Your Teeth Regularly
The additional blood flow to the mouth often results in receding gums, which can increase the risk of tooth decay. Many women experience vomiting as a part of the first trimester, and it's important to brush and flush after any episodes of morning sickness, as well as after eating. If you are finding your manual toothbrush aggravating, consider switching to an automatic tooth brush, which uses less 'sawing' motions in the mouth, and has a smaller head. It may also be helpful to listening to music while brushing, to relax you.
Speak to Your Dentist Early
Let your dentist know if you are planning to start conceiving so that any extensive dental work can be scheduled for before the pregnancy. It can also be a good idea to schedule x-rays early, particularly if you have had some extensive dental issues in the past. X-rays are generally not recommended during pregnancy, but in emergency situations can be performed using protective aprons. Even if you are in the very early stages of pregnancy and not telling many people, your dentist should be one of the first people you do tell so they can ensure that they are giving your safe dental care.
The dentist can also work with you to perform a preconception scale and clean, as many women find it hard to have dental work done during the first trimester due to nausea. While it is perfectly safe to get dental work performed while pregnant, it may not be that comfortable!
Continue to Floss
Flossing remains extremely important during pregnancy due to receding and swollen gums. Continue to floss even if it is uncomfortable, but if you have extreme gum swelling, make an appointment to see your dentist. Gum sensitivity is usually at it's highest in the second trimester and usually subsides when the baby is born. It is important to see a dentist to ensure that your gum disease does not worsen into periodontitis, which would put both yourself and your baby at risk.
Just think—before long you'll be bringing baby into see the dentist as well!