SPECIAL DENTAL CARE FOR PREGNANT WOMEN
While it is best to have all predictable dental work done before conceiving, dental care is often needed during gestation. The Second trimester (4th to 6th month) is usually the safest to undergo any dental treatment.
Caring for Your Teeth: Guidelines for Pregnant WomenHave you ever heard the old wives’ tale that you lose a tooth for each child you carry? While this isn’t the case, it’s true that pregnancy can exacerbate dental problems, so routine dental care becomes especially important for women who are expecting.
- Gingivitis (an inflammation of the gums) is a common problem, which may be the result of increased blood flow to the gums caused by pregnancy hormones. It can lead to bleeding gums and has been associated with complications of pregnancy, such as premature birth. It isn’t known whether gingivitis directly causes premature labour or whether it’s a marker for poor self-care and other health risks that might predispose a woman to preterm birth. It’s always wise to take good care of your teeth; just consider the potential risk of preterm birth as one more reason to pay attention to this aspect of your health.
Brushing and Flossing
- Brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush after meals, or at least twice a day, to help prevent cavities and gingivitis. Also be sure to floss regularly, as this will do much to protect your gums. Don’t worry if you notice some bleeding when you first start flossing; this should subside as the health of your gums improves.
Don’t put off cleanings
- Most people would agree that teeth feel wonderfully clean after a visit to the dental clinic. For healthy adults, dentists recommend a cleaning every six months. Pregnant women may want to have it done more frequently, however, especially if gingivitis is an issue. If you find that your gums still bleed despite regular brushing and flossing, or if you’re experiencing dental pain, see your dentist. If you are unsure whether a procedure or a medication is safe in pregnancy, you can check with your obstetric practitioner.