There are so many things to think about when you make the decision to start a family. What to Expect from your Teeth when you’re Expecting? Car seats, cribs, strollers and of course, most importantly, your health.
Should you take folic acid, should you visit or not visit a dentist and of course, that most important decision of all, what to name baby? Do you honour the family tradition of naming your first baby after Great Aunt Gertrude or buck tradition and name her Starlight instead? We can’t answer the great name debate but we can give you a couple of helpful hints about maintaining healthy teeth throughout your pregnancy.
What can you expect when you’re expecting? Occasionally, due to the many hormonal changes that take place during pregnancy, some women might experience issues with their gums in particular. Pregnancy can put you at an increased risk of periodontal disease, gum sensitivity or bleeding gums. In turn, periodontal disease could lead to potential complications for both mother and baby, in a worst-case scenario, possibly leading to premature labour. There is no need to panic however as such complications are rare. We would be remiss if we didn’t point them out but now let’s talk about some of the more common considerations.
Obviously avoiding x-rays during pregnancy, unless there is a dental emergency, just makes sense. You will find that most dentists will recommend avoiding any dental procedures whatsoever during either your first or third trimesters. The first third, in order to avoid any potential harm to the developing baby and the final third, primarily due to the comfort of the mother! With this in mind, a great way to plan for this special time in your life is to have a thorough dental exam prior to getting pregnant and then a have a regularly scheduled appointment during your second trimester. A regular teeth cleaning and check up during this time is perfectly safe.
It’s important to think about the baby too. You baby’s teeth start to develop in-utero at around 3 months so ensuring your diet has plenty of calcium and vitamin D, not just for you but your growing baby too, are very important. We’re sure it goes without saying that elective procedures such as teeth whitening must be postponed until baby is “on the outside!”
Great oral hygiene is not only good for mom but good for baby too. Brush and floss regularly, continue to have your regular teeth cleaning done during your second trimester and if you’re still looking for a baby name – we are kind of partial to Loris!