Between touring daycare centres, frequent visits to your doctor, childbirth classes, and purchasing a crib, your calendar during pregnancy can fill up quickly.
Amidst all this hustle-and-bustle of expectations, it can be difficult to keep track of boring details such as dental visits.
After all, it’s only nine months, and what could possibly happen in that short time?
The answer is: a lot can happen, and it’s not safe to miss your dental appointment. But this is a message that many expecting moms aren’t getting.
In 2015, one study discovered that nearly half of pregnant women skipped a dental visit.
This is unwise, as these visits can be critical during pregnancy, for the health of the baby and the unborn child.
Let’s take a look at some dental issues raised by pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Issues related to pregnancy
Pregnancy can bring some unique challenges:
Pregnancy gingivitis. Hormones cause your gums to swell while pregnant, which can lead to pregnancy gingivitis, a disease of the gums.
Signs of gingivitis include:
- swollen gums
- red gums (instead of pink)
- bleeding gums
- bad breath.
If you suspect you have gingivitis, contact us at Warner Lakes Dental.
Pregnancy tumors. Due to the same kind of hormonal changes mentioned above, some pregnant women develop “pregnancy tumours”.
The name sounds very scary, but these are non-malignant lumps that show up in the second trimester. They resemble little raspberries, and they form between teeth.
While they can be removed surgically, in most cases, they go away after a baby is born.
Morning sickness and teeth. Morning sickness is not an abnormal thing for pregnant women, but it is accompanied by a dental threat.
Stomach acid from your mouth can erode your enamel.
And it may be tempting to brush your teeth directly after a bout of morning sickness, but this can be terrible for your teeth as the acid is only driven farther into the enamel.
Instead, rinse your mouth with baking soda and water, which will wash out and neutralise the foul taste in your mouth while also counteracting the acid.
Mix a teaspoon of it into a cup of water and use that mixture to rinse out your mouth before brushing.
Protect your baby’s health
Your dental health protects your baby as it helps:
- Fight gum disease that can cause low birth weight baby or premature birth.
- Stop decay-causing bacteria from transferring from you to your child.
Here’s how to keep your teeth and gums healthy:
- Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste and floss each day
- Visit your Warner Lakes Dental dentist for a regular dental check-up every six months.
- Eat nutritious foods.
Not only can you get your cleanings and necessary dental work safely completed before your baby arrives, but a visit to your Warner Lakes Dental dentist can resolve any pregnancy-related dental problems you may be experiencing.
Dentistry and Breastfeeding
If you are breastfeeding, the main dental issue is the use of drugs that might reach the child.
So, the first thing to do is make sure your dentist knows you are breastfeeding. Here are some typical dental treatments and their relationship to breastfeeding.
- X-rays are safe for children and breastfeeding mothers.
- Novocaine (and other drugs used for local anesthesia) are generally safe.
- Some antibiotics are generally safe – again, this is why your dentist needs to know if you are breastfeeding.
- Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) is also safe, as the gas is insoluble in the bloodstream.
- Most medicines for IV sedation and oral sedation are safe.
If you do need to take medicine while breastfeeding, check-in with your dentist and physician or paediatrician to ensure the drug is safe. While dental health is important, the health of your child is even more important!
Take care of yourself while pregnant or breastfeeding
Don’t skimp on oral hygiene while pregnant or breastfeeding. It is not uncommon for a pregnant or breastfeeding woman to cut back on “non-essential” activities and brushing and flossing sometimes suffer. T
his can lead to more gum disease and cavities, which are dangerous because bacteria that grows in a mother’s mouth can be transferred to their children.
Stick with brushing twice a day and flossing once a day!
Also, be sure to stay hydrated, because a dry mouth can also increase the risk for gum disease and cavities.
Finally, as mentioned, make sure your Warner Lakes Dental dentist knows that you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
We will adjust our recommendations and treatments to maximise your health and that of your child during pregnancy and nursing.
The Dental Care Experience in Warner
Warner Lakes Dental makes your visit the quickest and easiest dental experience possible.
From parking through treatment, and on to checkout, we make the process as painless and straightforward as possible.
We want you and your family to enjoy life with a stunning smile and a healthy mouth, teeth, and gums!
We are located at Warner Lakes Medical Precinct, 1185B Old North Road in Warner.