Dental Care during Pregnancy
Did you know, in Maryland only 15% of pregnant woman with an oral health problem see a Dentist? Good oral health is very important for pregnant woman and their growing fetus. But, many women are unsure of proper dental care during pregnancy.
The fact is, that oral health care is SAFE and important during all trimesters of pregnancy. Pregnant women should make a dental appointment early in pregnancy. According to the Maryland Department of Health, half of pregnant woman in Maryland do not have an oral prophylaxis “cleaning” during their pregnancy. Pregnant woman should visit the dentist for cleanings, exams and any treatment needed to maintain or improve their oral health.
It is very important your dentist and dental hygienist know you are pregnant as you may be at risk for certain dental conditions. During pregnancy, physiological changes occur that may adversely affect your oral health, such as:
- Dental Caries (decay, cavities)
- Pregnancy Gingivitis
- Periodontitis (gum disease)
- Pregnancy Tumor (pyogenic granuloma)
- Tooth Erosion
All of these conditions can be prevented and treated. Maternal oral health does play a role in your future child’s health as well. Children born to woman with poor oral health and high levels of caries-causing bacteria are at a higher risk for developing dental caries. Restoring active carious lesions (cavities) before delivery may reduce your child’s risk of developing dental caries in the future. It is also important for pregnant woman to know, according to the American Dental association dental x-rays with a lead shield are considered safe when necessary.
Some tips for pregnant woman to practice for good oral hygiene are brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss once a day. If you experience vomiting, rinse your mouth with a teaspoon of baking soda in a cup of water to stop acid from attacking your teeth. Delay tooth brushing for about an hour. Also, eat healthy foods. Poor prenatal nutrition may affect a child’s tooth development. Avoid foods and beverages high in sugar, and drink fluoridated water throughout the day.
The Maryland Department of Health is working hard to inform all pregnant woman of the importance of good oral health care during pregnancy. Please share this important information with anyone who it may concern. For more information you can visit www.OralHealth4BetterHealth.com and of course, call the office at anytime with questions or concerns.