How should I care for my teeth during pregnancy?
Before becoming pregnant, it’s a good idea to have your dental health evaluated by your dentist. You should continue to practice good dental hygiene throughout your pregnancy, including brushing with fluoride toothpaste twice daily and flossing at least once daily. You should also keep your regularly scheduled cleanings and any other appointments for dental work that your dentist recommends.
Why is dental hygiene so important during pregnancy?
Women’s gums tend to be more sensitive during pregnancy and may bleed more easily when brushing or flossing. This is known as pregnancy gingivitis, and it is caused by your changing hormones that leave gums more vulnerable to the bacteria found in plaque. Moreover, studies have shown that tooth decay and periodontal disease might contribute to an increased risk of preterm delivery.
Can I undergo dental X-rays while pregnant?
Dental X-rays are safe for you and your developing baby as long as you wear a leaded apron and thyroid collar to limit your body’s exposure to the rays.
Can I undergo elective dental procedures while pregnant?
The American Dental Association advises that elective procedures should be scheduled during your second trimester or early in the third trimester. Any major surgeries should wait until after you have your baby. If your dentist would like to use anesthesia or prescribe antibiotics or pain medications, he or she may require your OB-GYN to provide a note approving their use.