Dental Care During Pregnancy
Dental health is an important part of your overall health. And if you’re pregnant, it’s an important part of your prenatal care as well. Being pregnant can increase your risk for oral health problems, and these problems can affect your pregnancy. For example, some studies show a link between gum disease and premature birth.
How does pregnancy affect your dental health?
Changes in your body during pregnancy can affect your teeth and gums in several ways.
- Increased levels of certain hormones like progesterone and estrogen in your body during pregnancy, can increase your risk for certain oral health problems.
- During pregnancy, your eating habits change. You may eat more of certain foods during pregnancy than you did before you were pregnant. The kinds of food you eat can affect your dental health.
- You may brush and floss your teeth less than you did before you got pregnant. This may be because your gums are tender or you’re more tired than usual. For some women, brushing and flossing may cause nausea.
Are dental procedures considered safe during pregnancy?
Most dental procedures are considered safe for women that are pregnant. Dental x-rays are considered safe during pregnancy. Your dentist can shield you and the baby with a lead vest or apron, so that you are both protected. Be sure to inform your dentist and the technician that you are pregnant before the x-ray. Newer digital x-rays use a smaller dose of x-rays than traditional x-rays and are safer.
Dental Cleaning while pregnant
Dental cleanings during pregnancy are not only safe, they are encouraged. Pregnancy gingivitis is a common problem during pregnancy and can be prevented or treated by regular dental cleanings. Signs of gingivitis include:
- Red puffy swollen gums
- Bleeding gums during brushing or flossing
- Tenderness when brushing or flossing
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Preventive dentistry is the key to a long-lasting, healthy smile. Professional dental care is just as essential as brushing and flossing regularly. Preventative care in the form of professional dental services is crucial to avoiding difficult and expensive dental issues later on.