Pregnancy and Dental Care – Frequently Asked Questions

When I was pregnant with our first child, I have to admit my nerves often got the best of me. I worked hard to take precautions so as not to harm the baby, and no doubt I looked like the stereotypical fretful mom-to-be. Yet I never missed a doctor’s appointment, but I did have some concerns about going to the dentist – for health reasons, of course. Taking the time to research the facts about dental health and pregnancy, however, helped eased my mind about a number of issues. If you are expecting and wondering about what you should do when your dental appointment rolls around, here are some commonly asked questions to ponder.
1) How does being pregnant affect dental health?
When you are pregnant, you’ll find it makes a huge impact on your body. Personally, I noticed that thanks to the hormonal changes I experienced I had reactions to certain types of food and soap. I had to stop using one brand of lotion, for example, because the scent suddenly made me nauseous. With regards to teeth, you might find that your gums become more tender, or that plaque buildup is more prevalent. It’s important to brush regardless, but when you are pregnant you want to take extra care to brush regularly and floss.
2) Can a pregnant woman keep a dentist appointment?
Yes. There is no reason why you can visit your doctor for a routine cleaning. However, it is important that your dentist and hygienists are aware of your condition. You should not have X-rays taken during this time, but if an emergency should arise you will consult with your dentist.
3) Is there a certain brand of toothpaste a pregnant woman should use?
You may be able to use your current brand if you don’t develop a nauseous reaction to it. If you wish to err on the side of caution, you can speak with your obstetrician or dentist about a suitable toothpaste to use in the interim that will get the job done without causing you discomfort. Your local health store will have a number of all-natural pastes made with baking soda, but be careful that they don’t make you feel woozy!
Enjoy your pregnancy. These nine months will result in changes to your body that may frustrate you, but the end result can be wonderful. Stay on your dental care during this time, too, because you’ll soon have reason to smile.

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