Healthy teeth and gums are essential during all stages of life, including pregnancy. Expectant mothers must take extra precautions to maintain good oral health for themselves and their babies. In this blog post, Atlanta Smiles & Wellness, a family dental practice in Atlanta, offers the following oral health tips all expectant mothers should know.
Be Vigilant of Changes in Your Mouth
Changes in hormones during pregnancy can lead to a number of dental health issues. For instance, pregnant women have an increased risk of developing gum disease and as a result can experience tender, bleeding and/or inflamed gums. In addition, the increased levels of relaxin (a hormone responsible for the softening of fibrous connective tissues) may cause teeth to shift in the mouth.
If you notice changes in your teeth, tongue or gums, be sure to schedule an appointment with your dentist right away. Early detection and treatment can resolve dental issues before they turn serious. If you notice your teeth shifting in your mouth, our team may recommend you wear a custom-fitted retainer while you sleep and breastfeed.
Rinse after Morning Sickness
Although morning sickness is a normal part of pregnancy, it can cause major harm to your teeth. The stomach acid in vomit can erode teeth enamel and weaken the tooth structure, putting teeth at risk of cavities and decay. To minimize the effects of morning sickness on your teeth, try rinsing your mouth after vomiting with a teaspoon of baking soda mixed with water.
Maintain Regular Dental Appointments
Not only are routine dental checkups and exams safe during pregnancy, they are strongly recommended. Dental exams are important in detecting dental issues early on, when they can be more easily treated. X-rays are also safe during pregnancy, as they emit a very low level of radiation. Before taking your X-rays, your dentist will place a leaded apron over you to minimize exposure to your abdomen. Routine dental exams should be scheduled approximately every six months, depending on your oral health needs.
Schedule an Appointment with Atlanta Smiles & Wellness
To learn more about prenatal dental care, please schedule an appointment with Atlanta Smiles & Wellness by calling (404) 262-7733 today.