Jun 04 2014

Why You Should Visit the Dentist While Pregnant


DentistIf you are pregnant a trip to the dentist office is more important than ever. Medical professionals have found a link between a pregnant mother having healthy teeth and gums and her newborn baby having healthy teeth throughout their lifetime.  If you are not taking care of your oral health, your child could suffer.  Fortunately, this is completely preventable. 

By simply practicing a good oral hygiene routine of brushing after meals, flossing daily, and rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash, you can reduce your risk of cavities and gum disease.  Additionally, it is important to drink plenty of water in order to stay hydrated and produce the saliva your body needs to wash away bacteria naturally.  During your pregnancy, you should also have your teeth professionally cleaned at least twice. 

The dentist will make sure that you stay in good oral health while pregnant. Hormonal changes actually increase the risk for periodontal (gum) disease. This means that it isn’t business as usual.  Pregnant women are at a higher risk and therefore need to take extra precautions in order to stay healthy. Hormones can make the gums become inflamed and bleed, but regular teeth cleanings can help by removing the bacteria that makes gums feel worst. 

Pregnancy can also make teeth more sensitive.  During your dental exams, the dentist will look for signs of cavities and treat them.  Even the smallest cavitythat would typically go unnoticed can cause pain during pregnancy.  By treating them quickly, oral pain can be avoided. 

In addition to ongoing dental care, pregnant women need to concentrate on eating a healthy and well-balanced diet.  This is just as important for mom as it is for baby.  A pregnant body is designed to provide the baby with the nutrients it needs to grow.  If the mother is not eating enough or getting the necessary nutrients, the body will take it from the mother and give it to the baby, leaving the mother malnourished.  The same holds true for teeth and bones.  While the baby’s teeth and bones are developing a pregnant woman needs to increase her intake of calcium.  This can be done through diet or calcium supplements.  If the calcium intake is not increased, the body will likely take it out of the mothers existing bones and teeth.  This leads to brittle teeth and potentially osteoporosis later on in life, both serious health conditions.  It is not worth the risk, so make sure that you eat a calcium rich diet. 

To be safe, speak with your OBGYN about dental care.  As long as they do not place any restrictions on you, a routine teeth cleaning and even treating cavities can be completed by the dentist without causing any harm to you or to the baby.  It is better to have these treatments and to be in good oral health than to postpone them and put you and the baby at risk.  To schedule your appointment with Fine Dental call (212) 768-7422.

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