In honor of National Breastfeeding Month, we want to devote this week’s blog post to discussing pregnancy and dental care. Most mothers intuitively understand they need to take care of their teeth. However, confusion plagues many expectant mothers. They wonder if dental care poses risks to the developing fetus. Expectant people also wonder if visiting the dentist during a pandemic could expose them and their unborn children to COVID-19. Rest assured; if you visit Dr. Fred Wong and the staff at Blue Ocean Dentistry, you and your unborn baby will be safe.
Pregnancy & Dental Care
- Dental Treatment is safe at any point during a woman’s pregnancy.
- The safest time to visit the dentist is between the second trimester, weeks 14-20.
- Dental professionals will not take x-rays of someone who is pregnant.
- No matter how far along you are, if you develop an oral infection, contact your dentist immediately. Don’t put you and your child at risk. The potential consequences of failing to treat an infection far outweigh the risks of medications used during treatment.
- The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) recommends dentists use non-mercury fillings for women who are pregnant. Dr. Fred Wong uses only non-mercury fillings on everyone.
- Dentists can safely use local anesthetics throughout pregnancy.
Pregnancy & Oral Complications
One of the reasons it is so important to visit your dentist regularly during your pregnancy is because pregnancy can lead to complications relative to several oral conditions. These are the most common, according to the American Dental Association (ADA).
- Dental cavities result from changes in diet. For instance, increased snacking due to cravings, increased acidity in the mouth due to vomiting, dry mouth or poor oral hygiene stemming from nausea and vomiting.
- Erosion stemming from vomiting results from morning sickness. Patients should avoid toothbrushing immediately after vomiting. This exposes the teeth to stomach acids. Instead, opt for rinsing with a diluted solution of 1 cup water and 1 teaspoon of baking soda to neutralize acid.
- Gingivitis may result from hormonal changes. These exacerbate the response to bacteria in gum tissue.
- Pyogenic Granuloma (AKA Granuloma Gravidarum) is a round growth. It is usually connected to the gingivae by a thin cord of tissue, which may develop due to hormonal changes.
How to Take Care of Your Teeth While Pregnant
Due to the increased risk of gingivitis and cavities, good daily oral hygiene is critical to these patients.
- Brush twice a day with a soft-bristled brush for two minutes.
- Use a fluoride-containing toothpaste.
- Cleaning between teeth once a day using a dental toothpick or dental floss.
- You may need a topical fluoride treatment to minimize the effects of erosion. In some cases, patients prefer a fluoride varnish over gel treatments due to nausea.
Don’t let fear keep you away from visiting the dentist. Whether or not you are pregnant, your oral health depends on quality care!
About Dr. Fred Wong of Blue Ocean Dentistry in Glendora, California
Dr. Fred Wong and the staff at Blue Ocean Dentistry use the latest available dental treatments, equipment, and materials – all of which make a marked difference in our patients’ experiences. We are committed to helping our patients achieve optimal dental health. We creatively combine dental science and artistry — which can literally redesign your smile. Since even a subtle change in your smile will help you to project self-confidence and high self-esteem, we love helping you feel good about yourself. We deliver the finest dental care at the most reasonable cost and accept most dental insurance plans as well as CareCredit. For more about the dental treatment plans we offer or to schedule an appointment, call today (626) 852-6999.