Taking Good Care of Your Teeth Takes Good Care for Your Baby’s Teeth and Bone Development
At Strong & Healthy Smiles, we promote dental wellness for life–and that begins when you are planning to start a family!
Having a dental exam to insure your gums and teeth are healthy before getting pregnant is an important first step to a healthy pregnancy and raising cavity-free kids!
This month, we have special tips for people planning on starting a family or newly pregnant.
Do you know a pregnant mother? If so, forward this email on to her!
An unborn baby’s health is directly affected not just by its mother’s overall health, but its mother’s oral health. Dental problems, including periodontal disease and gingivitis, have been linked to preterm labor and delivery. Treating cavities during pregnancy requires special planning and care, and reducing oral bacteria during pregnancy can reduce the transmission of cavity-causing bacteria to your infant.
It’s vital to keep up good oral health while pregnant!
Here are 3 key tips for pregnant mothers (and for those who love them) to keep in mind;
1. Plan Ahead
If you are planning a pregnancy, have all of your major dental work done before the pregnancy. Be sure to tell your dentist you are pregnant, so any upcoming treatment plans can be properly configured and spaced out accordingly. It is generally best to wait until the second trimester to have minor elective work done. Avoid non-emergency work in the first and second half of the third trimester, as critical growth and development take place and it’s best to avoid any possible complicating effects. Major elective treatment is best deferred until after the delivery. While you should avoid routine dental x-rays during pregnancy, for essential x-rays, you and your baby will be double-shielded. Digital x-ray technology today allows less radiation, delivered to a smaller area, than in years past.
2. Stay Attuned to Your Oral Health and Stay Current with Your Preventative Care
Have your oral health closely monitored with more frequent cleanings and exams. Remember-it’s not just you that you’re taking care of and trying to keep healthy-it’s your baby, too! Keep up with your regular dental preventive care visits, and if you have bleeding gums, you may need to be seen more often. Be sure to brush your teeth after eating, using a soft brush and fluoridated toothpaste with Xylitol, consider investing in an electric brush, and floss or use Butler Soft-Piks at least once daily. If you are eating 6 smaller meals per day instead of 3, increasing your brushing frequency will decrease your risk of decay. If you can’t brush, chew sugar-free gum with Xylitol, or at least rinse with water. Eat healthy veggies and whole fruit for snacks!
3. Have Morning Sickness? Don’t Avoid Brushing, Do This Instead
If you have acid reflux or morning sickness with vomiting, rinse your mouth out with 8oz of water and 1 tbsp. baking soda mixed together after every episode, to neutralize acids. Brushing on acid can cause excessive tooth wear. Using a bland toothpaste (such as a vanilla flavor) may be less of a trigger to gag; also brushing after breakfast is better than upon waking. If you can’t brush, rinsing with a neutralizing rinse, such as the CariFree CTx3 Rinse with fluoride, Xylitol, and alkaline can be a good substitute to neutralize acids and strengthen the teeth.
And by the way, CONGRATULATIONS!
Your oral health as a pregnant mother is also the oral health of your baby!
We care deeply about the oral health of each one of our patients.
Contact us with any questions and to confirm your next appointment,
Dr. Sue and the Smile Team: Lydia, Neph, Paula, and Michelle (currently on maternity leave taking care of her new baby!)
“This was the most thorough initial dental appointment I’ve ever attended. Dr. Keller and her team also go above and beyond to assure their patient’s comfort. I look forward to my next appointment.”
– Gina B.
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