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Making a dentist appointment is something all expecting mothers should do during their pregnancy. Jackson Family Dentistry, along with other offices across the country has strived to educate our patients about this. According to a recent survey by Delta Dental Insurance, there has been an increase in women visiting the dentist while pregnant. This is great news to hear and we are so happy our advice is being heard. If you are unfamiliar with why pregnant women should visit the dentist, then this article is for you. There are several dental concerns that can arise during pregnancy and knowing these will keep you and your developing child healthier throughout pregnancy.
A woman can have swollen gums also known as pregnancy gingivitis. This is due to the hormonal changes in the body, which increases blood flow to the gums. This increase will make them swollen, irritable, and may bleed while brushing and flossing. By making an appointment, a dentist can check to see if you are showing any of these signs, and may suggest more frequent cleanings or prescribe you a different toothpaste. Early detection will reduce the chance of infection during pregnancy. The swollen and tender gums will generally subside at the end of pregnancy with proper oral hygiene maintenance.
Can I Have Dental Work Done During Pregnancy?
Dental work such as fillings and crowns can be completed during pregnancy, however, the FDA recommends if possible, to wait until the second trimester. This is because the fetus is more developed which allows for more medications and antibiotics to be used without harm. It might be uncomfortable to sit in the dental chair for a long period of time, therefore, you might want to wait for cosmetic procedures like veneers, until after the baby is born.
Are X-Rays Safe?
Dental x-rays have come a long way from their predecessors. Digital x-rays contain very little radiation and this amount is not enough to harm you or your developing child. The dentist will also give you a lead apron to wear, to reduce even more of the radiation. However, most dentists will prefer to delay taking x-rays until after delivery unless absolutely necessary. This is to ensure that all measures are taken to protect the developing child.
How Can You Reduce The Chance Of Dental Decay?
Pregnancy elevates the chance of the woman developing cavities. This is due to several factors, one of those being carbohydrates. When consumed and metabolized, carbohydrates will turn into sugar. This increase in sugar can decay the enamel on the teeth. Morning sickness can also increase the chance of decay because of the additional acids exposed to the teeth. The acid will erode the tooth’s enamel and once the tooth’s protective covering is gone, cavities are much more likely to form. Proper and routine oral hygiene is especially important due to these factors. Brushing and flossing daily as well as using a mouthwash is recommended.
If you have any more questions feel free to call us or visit our website for more information. Remember, maintaining proper oral hygiene includes visiting the dentist. Neglecting going to the dentist, especially during pregnancy can put you at risk for further dental problems.