Expecting women may experience body changes throughout the pregnancy journey, so do the changes in teeth and gums. Bleeding gums, gingivitis, tooth decay are common during pregnancy due to hormonal changes and diet changes. Below are the most popular questions of dental care during pregnancy you should take note.
Q1: Is it safe to pay a visit to the dentist when I’m pregnant?
Yes, you should see the dentist regularly to avoid oral infection and maintain your dental health. It is safe for regular treatment like cavity fillings, orthodontic treatment. The dentist will suggest the best time to have more complicated treatment but non-emergency dental work like teeth whitening or other cosmetic procedures, whether at second trimester or after childbirth to avoid any risks of adverse effect to your baby. So, remember to notify your dentist when you’re pregnant.
Q2: Do I need to avoid x-rays during pregnancy?
Dental X-rays are considered safe, but your dentist will suggest you postpone until after childbirth unless necessary. Then, the risk of premature labour or longer periods lying on your back during the third trimester can be avoided.
Q3: Do I need to inform my dentist when I get pregnant?
Definitely you should let your dentist know. Your dentist may recommend the best way to take care of your teeth during this criteria period. Also, your dentist may pay attention to any antibiotics prescribed to you. So far, antibiotics like penicillin, amoxicillin, and clindamycin, which are labeled category B are safe to pregnant women.
Q4: Does anesthetics affect my baby?
Dental anesthetics which help you feel comfortable during dental work are safe for pregnant mums. Your dentist will choose anesthetics which is appropriate for you. As a result, you and your baby will be under less pressure when you feel comfortable.
Q5: Does nausea damage teeth?
Yes. The main culprit is your stomach acids. Since you cannot avoid morning sickness during pregnancy, rinse your mouth first, swish and spit after vomiting may help to prevent those acids from damaging the enamel in your teeth. Remember not to brush your teeth right after vomiting, you can brush after 30 minutes.
Q6: I find my gums bleeding. Is it common?
You may be surprised to notice that your gums are bleeding, flamed or swollen which you never experience before pregnancy. It is normal but you should pay more attention to proper oral care to prevent gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease which may increase the risk of premature birth, low birth weight or preeclampsia. Brush your teeth twice a day and clean between your teeth once a day to prevent above complications.
Q7: Is it common to lose a tooth in each pregnancy?
No, it is an old wives’ tale of “gain a child, lose a tooth”. Your pregnancy hormone, progesterone and estrogen can cause your ligaments and bones loose but stay in place well. Normally this condition disappears after childbirth. Talk with your dentist if you are not sure whether your teeth are moving or become loose.
Q8: Does newborn develop dental disease?
Pregnant mums’ dental health can affect newborn in a lifetime actually. Although a newborn won’t develop dental disease by himself/ herself, he/ she may be transmitted by others through kissing or sharing a spoon. Bacteria can be passed from a mother’s mouth through the above activities.