Updated: Dec 18, 2018
Here at College Street Dental Centre Petersfield, our staff have had 8 babies between them in the last 6 years. I’m sure there will be more on the way at some point!
The body undergoes many changes during pregnancy. But did you know that changes also happen in your mouth too!
Here are our top 5 tips to looking after your teeth and gums during pregnancy:
1: Do I need to see my dentist during pregnancy?
In short, Yes! Your body undergoes many changes during pregnancy, including a surge of hormones which can exaggerate the way soft gum tissues react to plaque.
We would recommend that you see the dental hygienist for thorough cleaning and advice on caring for your teeth at home and visit the dentist regularly.
2: How does a buildup of plaque affect me now that I’m pregnant?
If the plaque isn’t removed, it can cause gingivitis – red, swollen, tender gums.
You may notice, for example, that your gums become more inflamed and appear to bleed more easily.
So-called “pregnancy gingivitis” affects most pregnant women to some degree, and can begin to show as early as the second month. If you already have gingivitis, it is likely to significantly worsen during pregnancy.
You can help prevent it by brushing, especially near the gumline using fluoride toothpaste, at least twice a day. You should also floss thoroughly each day.
If brushing causes morning sickness, rinse your mouth with water or with anti-plaque mouthwash.
3: Is dental treatment safe during pregnancy?
Yes. There should be no problems at all with routine treatment. If you are not sure what your treatment would involve, talk about all the options with your dentist. The Department of Health advises that you do not have amalgam fillings replaced until after your baby is born.
As a general rule, dentists prefer to avoid dental x-rays during pregnancy if possible. However, if you need root canal treatment for example, you may need to have an x-ray. Many modern private practices use digital technology when taking xrays which minimises the exposure to radiation that you might otherwise have with less modern xray systems in other practices.
4: What about smoking and drinking during pregnancy?
Smoking and drinking in pregnancy can lead to an underweight baby. Underweight babies have a greater risk of developing poor teeth due to thetooth enamel not being formed properly whilst in the mother’s tummy. You may not realise, but their adult teeth are actually already growing in the jaws below the baby teeth when your baby is born!
5: Should I change what I eat during pregnancy?
A healthy balance diet is always important, but never more so than when you are pregnant!
You need to have a good diet so that your baby’s teeth can develop. Calciumin particular is important to produce strong bones and healthy teeth. Calcium is in milk, cheese and other dairy products.
For further information or advice contact College Street Dental Centre in Petersfield, Hampshire on 01730 263180