Pregnancy causes hormonal changes. Therefore, you may experience swollen or bleeding gums and increased gum irritation. Visiting your dentist during pregnancy is crucial as preventive care can avoid oral infections like gum disease in pregnancy.
Fortunately, visiting your dentist is safe. You can also undergo some safe oral procedures discussed in this article.
Kindly read along.
Can I Go To The Dentist During Pregnancy?
Visiting the dentist at Dentakay during pregnancy is crucial to your and your fetus’ health. Your dentist can identify gum disease and tooth decay during a dental visit and treat them promptly. When you are pregnant, inform your dentist you can schedule several appointments to check the conditions of your teeth and gums regularly.
Your dentist can also recommend necessary adjustments to your oral routine.
What Procedures Are Safe During Pregnancy?
Most people avoid going to the dentist during pregnancy. But, your oral health is essential for your fetal health. The following dental procedures are safe during pregnancy:
#1 – X-rays
X-rays expose you to radiation, although in low amounts. During an x-ray, your dentist will shield your baby using a lead apron and a thyroid guard. Nevertheless, dentists do not recommend getting x-rays during the first trimester, especially if you only visit for a routine checkup.
However, in case of a dental emergency or intense discomfort, your dentist may carry out an x-ray to develop an effective treatment plan
#2 – Tooth extraction
A decayed tooth significantly affects your oral health. Despite being a dentist’s last resort, tooth extraction, you will have to undergo an extraction if your tooth is severely damaged.
Although dentists can perform tooth extractions anytime during pregnancy, the second trimester is the ideal time. During this stage, you get to avoid getting x-rays during the first trimester or experience discomfort from lying down on your back during the third trimester.
#3 – Dental cleanings
Dental cleanings are safe during pregnancy. They help prevent gingivitis in pregnancy. During pregnancy, you may experience gum irritation and inflammation due to pregnancy hormones. Bue with dental cleanings, you can reduce the risk of developing gingivitis during pregnancy.
#4 – Dental fillings
Morning sickness and cravings for sugary snacks increase acidity in the mouth. Consequently, you may experience tooth decay. You can get dental fillings at any time during your pregnancy, but the second trimester is preferable. During this stage, the risk of nausea must have passed.
When you visit your dentist for fillings, discuss the best option for you. For example, silver fillings contain mercury which is harmful to the fetus. Your dentist may recommend temporary fillings or fillings with a different amalgam.
What Dental Procedures Are Not Safe In Pregnancy?
Generally, treatments that are not necessary should be postponed till after birth. This is because most of them require the administration of general anaesthesia, which may expose the baby to risks. Therefore, treatments like teeth whitening, dental implants, and other cosmetic procedures are not safe during pregnancy.
How To Maintain Your Oral Health During Pregnancy?
Dental care is more critical when you are pregnant. Follow these tips if you are expecting;
- Visit a dentist regularly.
Pregnancy hormone changes render women more vulnerable to gum disease and cavities. And the infections arising from these conditions can adversely affect a baby. In some cases, they can cause pre-term birth or a miscarriage.
Visiting your dentist before and during pregnancy is essential. During these routine visits, your dentist can address oral problems, so they don’t affect your baby or trigger other health problems.
- Watch out for gum disease.
Changes in hormones and increased blood flow may result in pregnancy gingivitis. In addition, gum infections can enter the bloodstream and increase the risk of miscarriage. You can watch out for gum disease by noticing symptoms including bleeding gums, loose teeth, and bad breath. Also, you could have gum diseases if you notice redness and swelling or if your gums are sensitive, especially when you chew.
You should see your dentist when you feel any of these symptoms.
- Brushing and flossing
You may want to skip brushing because of morning sickness. However, this is not advisable. Brushing twice daily is crucial to your oral health. You can brush after your morning sickness passes. And if you struggle with gagging, you can try a children’s toothbrush.
Flossing, on the other hand, reaches the surfaces where your toothbrush doesn’t reach. Consequently, flossing prevents plaque buildup and gum diseases.
- Rinse your mouth with baking soda
Morning sickness is especially prevalent during the first trimester. Vomiting is a typical morning sickness symptom, bringing stomach acid into the mouth. If you don’t rinse the vomit immediately, it can lead to tooth decay.
Fortunately, you can neutralise the acid by rinsing your mouth with baking soda solution. A teaspoon of baking soda to warm water to get a solution. Rinsing your mouth with this solution protects your teeth and eliminates sour taste.
- Limit sugar consumption
Sugar sticks to the teeth, causing microscopic bacteria to enter your mouth. The bacteria then attacks the teeth and excretes teeth-destroying acids. If you crave sugary foods, try finding healthier alternatives. Also, it is best to rinse your mouth or brush immediately if you consume carbs or sweets. Furthermore, milk contains lactose sugar. So, always rinse your mouth after drinking milk.
- Control plaque buildup
Some women experience plaque buildup in pregnancy. Your dentist may prescribe an antimicrobial mouthwash that can help control plaque buildup. In addition, rinsing once a day should help control plaque.
Your oral health in pregnancy is crucial as it affects your fetus. Therefore, visit your dentist regularly and observe proper oral hygiene for the best health. Fortunately, dental procedures like cleanings, fillings, and extraction are safe, keeping you and your baby healthy.
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