Many pregnant women avoid going to the dentist during their pregnancy even though it’s even more important to see the dentist during this time. Most expecting mothers are afraid that dental treatments and x-rays may be harmful to their babies and possibly result in birth defects. As long as you inform your dentist that you’re pregnant, they will act accordingly and there should be nothing to worry about.
So why are dental checkups crucial during your pregnancy?
The Importance of Dental Care During Pregnancy
Going to the dentist is an essential part of having a successful pregnancy. Studies show that pregnant women are more susceptible to gum disease than women who are not expecting. Because your body undergoes hormonal changes that you’re not used to, it’s common to experience sensitive gums and teeth. In fact, experts even have a term for this: pregnancy gingivitis. Pregnancy gingivitis is when your gums bleed easily, swell, or are tender during your pregnancy because of the changes going on in your body. Poor oral health during your pregnancy can even be passed onto your baby, so it’s important that you brush and floss regularly as well as see the dentist to ensure your gums and teeth are healthy.
Morning Sickness and Tooth Decay
Another reason why you shouldn’t skip the dentist during pregnancy is the vulnerability to tooth decay from morning sickness. Vomiting leads to an increased presence of acid in the mouth. Too much acid exposure can damage your enamel and cause tooth decay. Your dentist can determine whether your morning sickness is affecting your oral health as well as give you recommendations for preventing damage. After vomiting, be sure not to brush for at least 30 minutes to give your enamel time to recover after being exposed to acid.
Safety Tips During Pregnancy
If you’re planning a pregnancy and are concerned about going to the dentist while pregnant, you should book an appointment before you conceive to make sure your oral health is up to par. If you’re still worried about going to the dentist while pregnant, avoiding scheduling your appointment during your first or third trimester as much of your baby’s growth occurs during this time.
Regular checkups and cleanings are safe during pregnancy, but getting x-rays are usually where the concern comes in. Inform your dentist that you are expecting, and they will likely take extra precautions to ensure the safety of your baby. Ask your dentist about any other risks involved with dental checkups while pregnant and how you and your baby can remain as healthy as possible during your pregnancy.
To learn more about Grand Rapids dentist Dr. Kent Wildern and the services we offer, please contact us here or call us at (616) 364-8716. Kent Wildern DDS and his dental team strive to be the very best at providing patients with optimal care while making them feel right at home.