If you are going to become a mother for the first time in 2016, congratulations. We know that your son or daughter will bring you lots of joy.
We also want you to be aware of how pregnancy can affect your oral health. As you already know — or will soon learn — pregnancy changes your body and how it works.
At Anderson Dental Care, we want you to encourage you to take the time to take care of yourself throughout your pregnancy. This is good for you and for your baby.
With that in mind, the team at our dentist office has a few things that our pregnant patients in and around Cincinnati may want to know.
Practice Good Oral Hygiene
This is true all the time, but it’s especially important during your pregnancy.
Remember to brush your teeth for two minutes each time twice per day. Also, use a soft-bristled toothbrush with a fluoride toothpaste with the ADA Seal of Acceptance.
Flossing should be part of your daily routine as well. If you can’t or won’t use dental floss, ask us about other devices you can use to clean between your teeth and gums.
And last, but certainly not least, come to Anderson Dental Care for routine cleanings and checkups.
Tell Your Dentist
We certainly want to know for personal reasons, but we also want to know for the sake of your treatment and your health. Routine care is safe, but we may have to postpone some procedures depending on how far along you are or if you have a high-risk pregnancy.
X-rays Are OK
If we do need to take dental X-rays, you should know that they are safe for you and your baby. During the X-rays, you will be covered with a lead apron, which protects your abdomen from radiation exposure.
Watch Your Mouth
We wouldn’t dare to tell you what you should or should not say. We literally want you to keep an eye on your mouth. The changes going on inside your body can affect your mouth as well.
In particular, you should keep an eye on your gums. Pregnant women are at a higher risk of developing gum disease, which is one reason that flossing is so important during this time of your life.
Look for the warning signs of gingivitis such as gums that bleed easily or gums that become red, swollen, or tender. By treating gingivitis early, we can stop it from turning into a more serious gum disease, periodontitis.
Watch Your Diet
You’ve probably already heard this from your obstetrician, and we are sure that you realize what you eat affects your baby as well.
Your baby’s teeth start to develop between the third and sixth months of your pregnancy. Calcium, phosphorous, protein, and Vitamins A, C, and D are valuable nutrients at this time.
Guard Against Tooth Decay
Snacking is certainly understandable during your pregnancy, but we would encourage you to do try your best to have healthy snacks as much as possible. Pregnant women are at a higher risk of tooth decay, too.
By snacking on healthy snacks like fruits, vegetables, yogurt, and cheese, you are helping yourself and your baby. (Of course, ice cream is still OK from time to time.)
Dealing With Morning Sickness
Some parts of pregnancy are difficult, and morning sickness may be one of the tougher parts. Bear with us on this one. Vomit includes stomach acids, which can erode the enamel on your teeth.
If you find that you are vomiting frequently, you can take some steps to protect your teeth. Mixing a teaspoon of baking soda into a glass of water and drinking it can help prevent stomach acid from attacking your teeth.
Your Baby’s Oral Care Starts Before He or She Has Teeth
When your baby is born, he or she will not yet have teeth. However, you can still take steps to keep your baby’s mouth healthy.
Until that first tooth arrives (about six months after your little one is born), you can wipe his or her gums with a washcloth or with a moistened gauze pad.
Oral Care Is Always Important
Good oral hygiene is important throughout your life, but it can be trickier when you are pregnant. The changes taking place in your body may increase your risk for tooth decay and gum disease, which makes routine care essential during this special time in your life.
Again, we want offer a big congratulations from everyone at our dentist office in Cincinnati. And please visit Anderson Dental Care during your pregnancy … and after your baby is born.
To make an appointment, call (513) 231-7755 or use our online form.