Did you know that a healthy mouth is as important for your baby as it is for you? The American Dental Association says that an unclean mouth can lead to gum disease and gingivitis, which has been linked to lower birth weights and early births. In fact, studies have shown that women with gum disease are more than seven times more likely to have pregnancy complications. Now that you’re expecting, it’s important to take care of every aspect of your body just as you would for your newborn. Here are 5 ways to keep your mouth healthy while you’re expecting.
Get it done now
Once your baby is here, you won’t have near as much time to visit the dentist as you should. By getting any major or minor work done now, you will be able to spend your time focusing on your newest family member instead of dental work. While you should still visit the dentist regularly postpartum, any dental work that you’ve been meaning to get taken care of could benefit by being done before the baby is born.
Brush and Floss regularly
While you should be doing this even when not pregnant, it’s essential that you brush at least two times per day with a soft brush to keep plaque from building. Flossing is necessary to clean between your teeth so the acid that is created from plaque can be removed appropriately, reducing gum disease. Use a gentle fluoride toothpaste to remove any leftover bacteria that has been left behind after brushing and flossing for a supremely clean mouth that will benefit baby.
Since morning sickness often comes with pregnancy, you should take adequate precaution and brush after every time you get sick to prevent the stomach acid from affecting your teeth. Baking soda acts as an acid neutralizer, so rinsing thoroughly with it can stop the acid from harming your teeth.
Fortunately, the radiation from x-rays is so low that it shouldn’t affect your baby. However, if you do have dental work that is recommended with an x-ray, you should get it between weeks 13-21 of your pregnancy. This is when anesthetics are safest for your baby, so major dental work should be done at this time. If you’re uncomfortable getting an x-ray while you’re pregnant, you can certainly wait until after your baby is born to get it done.
Get professional cleanings
Even when you establish a healthy cleaning routine for your mouth, leftover plaque can accumulate and effect your baby, so it’s important to still get regular cleanings with your dentist. Regular cleanings should be done every six months, so you should have at least one cleaning during your pregnancy.
Eat a balanced diet
What you eat when you’re pregnant has a great impact on your baby’s health, but it also has an important role in your oral health. Try to limit acidic foods that can wash away enamel and focus on eating healthy or organic foods that are free from pesticides.
Even though there hasn’t been any associated risk of birth outcomes with dental procedures, you should always wait until after the first 8-10 weeks of pregnancy to get dental work done. This is a vital time for gestation and your baby’s health, so waiting until after the first few weeks can be important. If you’re unsure of what dental work you need while you’re pregnant, or if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. We are the leading source for dentistry in Chino, California, and our dental practitioners are always happy to help answer any questions you may have regarding our services.
Kids Dental Specialists proudly serves families in the Chino/Chino Hills, CA area. Visit our Appointment page or call us at 909-591-0077 to schedule your next appointment.