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Dental Care During Pregnancy: Everything Expecting Mothers Need to Know

Dental Care During Pregnancy: Everything Expecting Mothers Need to Know

Professional dental care is essential for every family member throughout all life stages—this includes during pregnancy! If you’re an expecting mother, visiting your preferred dental office in Toronto for a prenatal checkup is important. Additionally, you should familiarize yourself with proper oral care during pregnancy. Keep reading to learn more.

1. You should inform your dentist that you’re pregnant

Actually, you should inform your dentist as soon as you’re thinking of becoming pregnant! This gives you and your dentist time to evaluate your oral health and see if any procedures should be done sooner rather than later. Dental checkups before pregnancy are essential, so your dentist can find and treat any problems early. Although you can still have urgent and required dental treatments during your pregnancy, your Toronto dentist will likely recommend waiting on any elective treatments. Therefore, it’s best to have these done before pregnancy if you don’t want to wait until afterward. If you weren’t able to visit Bloor West Smiles before becoming pregnant, be sure to let us know at your next appointment. Ideally, you should come in during the first three months of your pregnancy and stick to your biannual schedule. Receiving professional care for your teeth is still vital during pregnancy! You should also inform us about any medications you’re taking, whether prescription, over-the-counter, or herbal.

2. It’s important to maintain your oral hygiene routine

Throughout your pregnancy, it’s crucial that you maintain your at-home oral hygiene habits. Since expecting mothers are more susceptible to developing cavities and other oral health issues, you must take proper care of your mouth during this time. Be sure to brush your teeth twice daily, morning and evening, using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. You should also floss once per day, hydrate with water frequently, and rinse with mouthwash. However, caring for your teeth and gums can be harder during pregnancy. Some expecting mothers find that brushing their teeth makes them nauseous. If you’re experiencing this, here are a few tips for you:
  • Try using a bland-tasting toothpaste.
  • To neutralise the acids in your mouth, take an antacid or rinse your mouth with baking soda and water.
  • Rinse your mouth with water regularly.

3. Hormonal changes can affect your oral health

It should come as no surprise that you undergo many hormonal and physical changes during pregnancy. What you may not know, however, is that some hormonal changes can affect your oral health. Certain hormones, like progesterone and estrogen, are elevated during pregnancy and can temporarily cause oral tissues to loosen. Your teeth may feel looser as a result. Additionally, hormonal changes can make your gums become sensitive, swollen, and red. It’s important to keep an eye out for these changes and notify your Toronto dental office. Alternatively, some pregnant women develop a condition called “pica,” which makes them crave inedible things like ice, paste, or dirt. If you start experiencing this, contact your dentist at Bloor West Smiles Dental. Pregnant women are also more susceptible to cavities because of an altered plaque response and increased acidity in the mouth due to morning sickness. Every time you’re sick, stomach acid is brought up to your mouth, slowly eroding your tooth enamel and spurring the development of tooth decay. Always wait at least 30 minutes to brush your teeth since it’s easy to damage them when the enamel is softened.

4. Pay close attention to your gums during pregnancy

You need to monitor your gums for changes during your pregnancy. About 40% of all pregnant women develop “pregnancy gingivitis” because of hormonal changes. Your gums become tender, swollen, and bleed easily. If untreated, it can develop into more serious gum disease. Pregnant women can also develop “pregnancy tumours,” which are inflamed lumps that form on your gums (often between your teeth). These are not cancerous; however, they still need to be monitored. Although they usually disappear independently after birth, some need to be removed sooner.

5. Professional dental care is important during pregnancy

Given all the oral changes that you may experience, it’s very important to continue to receive professional dental care during pregnancy. Regular checkups are safe and vital for your continued oral health. These dental appointments play a crucial role in preventing infections and diseases, as well as monitoring your oral health. General dental work, like cavity fillings and crowns, are also safe for expecting mothers. Moreover, these treatments are essential for preventing infections and further damage.

6. Dental x-rays are perfectly safe for expecting mothers

Routine dental X-rays are just that: routine. They help dentists evaluate the health of your teeth and gums. And, they’re completely safe for expecting mothers. Some patients express nervousness when having X-rays taken during pregnancy because of concerns about radiation. However, dental X-rays don’t release enough radiation to harm you or your baby. Your dentist also covers you with a lead apron and collar that protects both of you.

7. Eat a healthy diet, full of fruits and vegetables

A balanced diet full of fruits and vegetables is good for you and for your baby. After all, your baby’s first teeth begin to develop three months into pregnancy. It’s easy for expecting mothers to experience nutritional deficiencies during pregnancy. This is because their bodies are focused on growing their babies. All nutrition is sent first to their growing baby, not to them. Consequently, your diet must include enough nutrition to meet both of your needs. You should cut down on sugary foods and drinks (which also promote tooth decay), and eat various fruits and vegetables to get the minerals and vitamins required.

8. Gum disease has been linked to premature birth

Studies have found a link between gum disease and premature birth, which is all the more reason to take care of your mouth during pregnancy! Proper oral hygiene and regular dental appointments are crucial for preventing the onset of periodontal disease.

Are You an Expecting Mother? Contact Your Toronto Dental Office Today

Bloor West Smiles Dental is Toronto’s leading dental office, offering professional dental care to expecting mothers. Whether you’re planning to become pregnant, are currently pregnant, or already have a newborn, Bloor West Smiles Dental is here for you. We provide superb dental care for all members of your growing family. To learn more about our dental care services in Toronto, call Bloor West Smiles Dental at 647-371-1407 or contact us here.

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