Your Baby and the Dentist
Pregnancy changes a lot of things about your body. As hormones fluctuate and you physically prepare to give birth, the size of your waistline isn’t the only thing that you’ll notice transforming. Sometimes your teeth and gums do too.
Here are some of the most important things our Long Jetty dentist wants women to know about their oral health during pregnancy.
Is it safe to not go to the dentist while I’m pregnant?
Understanding pregnancy and dental risks is important to make sure your unborn child remains safe and healthy.
It turns out that dental infections can actually increase the risk of:
- Premature labour and birth
- Low birth weight infants
These risks are typically associated with gum disease. Bleeding gums during pregnancy are quite common, so you’ll need to determine whether the bleeding is induced by hormones or an infection.
Our Central Coast dentist recommends routine preventative care, daily flossing and thorough brushing to ensure that all plaque biofilm are removed from the gumlines at least twice daily.
Can I get my teeth cleaned during pregnancy?
Absolutely! In fact, prophylactic dental appointments are a smart step to take to ensure the health of your baby.
Some studies suggest that women with gum disease tend to give birth to children who are also prone to the infection. Scientists believe that the biofilm can spread through the placenta to the child.
Do teeth weaken during pregnancy?
Many women do find that they experience more dental problems during and after pregnancy than they have before. Bleeding gums and gum disease is more common during pregnancy, this could be due to the increased.
This could be attributed to extra acid exposure to their enamel due to morning sickness, decreased calcium levels, and other factors. It only makes sense to see a few things pop up, when your body is supporting an extra person at the same time.
Nutrient deficiencies and issues like breathing, snoring, and sleep apnea during pregnancy may also affect the development of your baby.
Can You Go to the Dentist When Pregnant?
If you have a toothache or suspect there’s a cavity, you should know how to treat tooth decay during pregnancy. In most cases, dental fillings during pregnancy are absolutely fine.
However, a more complex procedure such as a tooth extraction during pregnancy should be delayed until after giving birth, unless it’s an emergency and causing severe pain or infection.
Can I go to the dentist during my first trimester?
Yes! If any minor infections are present, we can work with you to treat them or decide if the procedure can wait until after you’ve had the baby.
As a precaution, we take extra protection to minimise exposure to radiation, but if an X-ray is necessary, the lead apron will prevent any contact with your developing child.
Can I go to the dentist during my second trimester?
By the second trimester, most symptoms of morning sickness have passed, and you’ll be feeling more like yourself. This window of time is ideal for prevention focused care to ensure your teeth are healthy throughout the rest of your pregnancy.
Can I go to the dentist during my third trimester?
Most women tend to be slightly uncomfortable during their third trimester, because of how challenging it is to lay back in the treatment chair. Unless you’re experiencing a dental emergency or have oral health factors that increase your risk of preeclampsia and premature labour, we may advise that you wait until after your due date to schedule treatment.
New Moms: What to Know
After you’ve had your baby, we can return to business as usual! The small amount of medication that may be used during your dental procedure is no risk to your child if you are breastfeeding. However, some women do choose to discard their breastmilk for the first feeding after treatment, as a precaution. We recommend speaking with your paediatrician.
Caring for your Newborn Baby’s Teeth
Be sure to bring your baby in for her first dental check-up by the time her first tooth erupts, or no later than her first birthday. Before you’ve had your baby, we’ll share preventative advice on how to care for your child’s smile as an infant and toddler.
A few tips include:
- Have your newborn checked for tongue-tie
- Breastfeeding is best for your child’s oral and overall health.
- Use a soft, damp washcloth to gently clean the gums after each feeding.
- Never put baby to bed with a bottle of milk or juice.
- Encourage your toddler to drink water between meals, rather than juice or milk.
- As soon as the first tooth erupts, use a rice-sized smear of fluoridated toothpaste to gently brush teeth twice daily.
At Luminous Dentistry, we’re committed to helping Central Coast moms enjoy a healthy smile throughout pregnancy and after giving birth, not to mention getting their child’s smile off on the right track.
Contact us for your Central Coast Dental services today to schedule your next preventative care appointment!