Few expectant mothers consider their dentist visits when planning to get pregnant or while expecting. But there are several key ways that it's important to time your visits to the dentist during your pregnancy. What are they?
Before You Get Pregnant
While still planning your pregnancy, get a full dental examination completed - including x-rays. The hormones and inflammation you will experience once pregnant can cause some temporary dental problems, so it's best to start out with a healthy set of teeth and gums as well as good habits. About 50-75% of women develop pregnancy gingivitis, which can lead to periodontis and possibly permanent damage. To help avoid being part of this statistic, see your dentist before and after your pregnancy and follow all advice regarding preventive oral hygiene.
During this visit, let your dentist know you're trying to get pregnant. Keep him or her aware of any medication you've been prescribed and any specific information from your doctor or obstetrician. Have your x-rays taken now to ensure your own peace of mind about exposure during pregnancy.
During the First Trimester
It's during these first 13 weeks that your baby's organs are doing their most developing. For this reason, it may be best to complete dental work before or after this period. Of course, if you have a dental emergency, don't hesitate to have it treated. Stress on the mother and untreated infections may do more harm than any proper dental care ever could. This includes dental emergency work that calls for local anesthetics, as these are safe for the growing baby.
During the Second Trimester
This is a vital time to schedule a regular exam at the dentist and address any serious problems that have come up, as you may become too uncomfortable to spend time in the dentist's chair during the final phase of pregnancy. In addition to treating problems with your own teeth, such as pregnancy gingivitis or bleeding gums, its important to keep a healthy mouth in order to avoid passing on bacteria once the baby is born. Through regular parental activities such as sharing utensils or licking pacifiers, both mother and father who have can transmit bacteria from their own mouths into baby's system.
As with most things during pregnancy, it's important to keep your own body healthy in order to protect your baby's health. If you have specific concerns about visiting the dentist while expecting, discuss them with your doctor and your dentist. Modern technology has rendered most dental work safe for a developing baby and can help ease your own stress and discomfort during this exciting time.
For more information, contact Dr. Dean Simmons DDS PA or a similar dental professional.