There are so many things to manage as a new or soon-to-be mom, and we hope to make life easier however we can. One way is by letting you know exactly what you need to schedule so that you can move on to other things. It can be easy to overlook going to the dentist while your little one is flashing a toothless grin. To help you check dental health off your to-do list, we asked Dr. Amanda (Amy) Cryan from Growing Smiles Pediatric Dental in Buffalo, NY for some tips for soon-to-be moms. Going to the dentist might not be your baby’s favorite thing, but watching the children in her practice grow is Dr. Amy’s. Her advice will help you lay the foundation for a lifetime of painlessly pearly whites.
Gum Care During Pregnancy
Nearly 40% of all women suffer from some form of periodontal disease, and many have no idea anything is wrong. Studies show that pregnant women with periodontal disease face seven times the risk of delivering a preterm, low-birth-weight baby. Lots of factors play into this, but one is easy to nip in the bud. While you’re pregnant, it’s ultra important to go to your routine cleanings. That’s because blood flow increases during pregnancy, and hormonal changes can affect a mom-to-be’s mouth. Pregnant women’s gum tissues tend to have an exaggerated response to debris left behind on teeth. This can cause excess tissue growth and gums that bleed easily during brushing.
What can a mom-to-be do?
It’s all about prevention. Instead of twice-yearly cleanings, ask your dentist if you could be placed on a 3-month maintenance schedule. This way, you’ll have a professional monitoring your oral health in each trimester. If your dentist notices something that needs to be addressed, it is safe to have dental work done between weeks 14 and 20 of pregnancy.
Dental Damage from Morning Sickness
Morning sickness is the menace of motherhood. When you’re vomiting and your reflux is out of control, your whole body suffers – even your teeth. Stomach acidity is extremely dangerous to tooth enamel and mouth tissues. Stomach acids weaken teeth, making it easier for bacteria to cause cavities.
Here are some preventative things you can do to help protect your teeth.
- Drink tons of water throughout the day.
- Whenever possible, rinse, swish, and spit immediately after becoming sick. Water is good. A teaspoon of baking soda mixed into a glass of water is even better. Baking-soda water helps to neutralize the pH of your mouth after you’ve been sick.
- Do a daily fluoride rinse prior to bed to re-mineralize the outer layer of enamel. You can ask your dentist for a dental fluoride treatment.