Pregnancy is a magical time in any expecting mother’s life. Your OB may have discussed their recommendations to help baby grow happy and healthy. But did you know that your mouth and oral hygiene play a vital role in your baby’s development? Studies have shown mother’s with poor oral hygiene and oral disease are at more of risk for premature labor and underweight babies. It is important that during your pregnancy oral hygiene is a top priority.
During your first trimester, it is important to speak to our Highlands Ranch Dentist about adding an extra cleaning during your pregnancy. This helps minimize the risk of oral disease including gum disease and cavities. Begin to watch for pregnancy gingivitis. This common side affect of pregnancy causes a puffiness in the gums due to changes in hormones. Many expecting mother’s report nausea and morning sickness especially in the first trimester. If you suffer from nausea you may want to pick up a toothpaste that is bland (make sure it still contains fluoride!). If you do indeed suffer from morning sickness, it is important to rinse your mouth thoroughly after each episode with regular tap water. This will help wash and buffer all the acid in your mouth.
This is the safest trimester to have any necessary dental work completed. If you need to have a cavity restored or gum treatment, make sure to schedule your treatment at this time. Avoid sugar snacks, even if you are craving them. Try healthy alternatives like a piece of fruit or yogurt instead. Make sure to take your prenatal vitamin and include plenty of folic acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, and Vitamin B12 in your diet. Pay attention to your gum tissues and sensitivity. Also watch for potential Pregnancy Granulomas commonly found on the mouth or lips. If you do have a Pregnancy Granuloma, please contact our Highlands Ranch dental office and to have Dr. DeLapp or Dr. Parsons examine.
Any dental work in the last few weeks should likely be deferred unless it is an emergency. This is mostly due to the size of the baby causing the mother to be uncomfortable laying on her back to long periods of time for dental work. Make sure to be extra vigilant with your home care, including flossing (check out our blog on flossing) and brushing. Make sure to schedule your next dental appointment for after the baby arrives, including dental radiographs if they were deferred due to pregnancy.
It is important to remember that almost all dentistry does not affect your milk supply. Local Anesthetic, nitrous oxide, and radiographs (x-rays) are all safe while you are breastfeeding for both you and the baby. Make sure to never let your baby fall asleep with a bottle of milk or juice in their crib, this can lead to baby bottle tooth decay. Make sure to brush your baby’s gums with a clean wash cloth and as their teeth begin to come in with a soft toothbrush. Avoid toothpastes with your baby until they are 12-18months old.
Congratulations! We are excited for your little bundle of joy. Most importantly is to take care of your health, including your oral health and smile. Please schedule your examination and cleaning with our Highlands Ranch dental office and talk to our Highlands Ranch Dentists about scheduling extra cleanings during pregnancy. Call our office today at 303-694-9740.