Routine dental treatment is safe during pregnancy. However, there are some procedures or medication that should be avoided in the first trimester. For this reason, it’s very important to let your dentist know if you are pregnant. Here are some tips regarding dental care for pregnant women.
The effect of morning sickness and reflux on teeth
Pregnant women who experience morning sickness with vomiting and/or acid reflux are at high risk of tooth erosion. Tooth erosion is the gradual wearing away or dissolving of the outer enamel layer of your teeth.
If you are vomiting or have reflux, you can reduce the risk of tooth erosion and damage to your teeth by:
- Rinsing your mouth immediately with water or a mouth rinse. (Tip: Add a teaspoon of baking soda to a cup of water to rinse and spit after vomiting.)
- Chewing sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva which will neutralise and wash away acid.
- Smearing a little bit of toothpaste over your teeth with your finger.
- Waiting at least 30 minutes before brushing to avoid damaging softened enamel surface.
Pregnant women have an increased risk of gum disease
Many women can develop gum disease during pregnancy because of natural hormonal changes in the body. If gum disease becomes severe, the infection can affect an unborn baby’s development as well as increase the risks of both premature birth and delivering a low birthweight baby. This, in turn, can lead to possible long-term health risks for the child.
Signs of gum disease include:
- Bleeding gums
- Red gums (instead of pink)
- Swollen gums
- Bad breath
If you suspect you have gum disease, we recommend you visit your dentist. They’ll diagnose any issues and advise the best treatment to ensure your optimal oral health.
How smoking can affect your smile when pregnant
Smoking while pregnant increases the risk of health problems for babies, from premature birth to low birth weight, birth defects and SIDS. But did you know it can also trigger gum disease? If you are a smoker and fall pregnant, now is a very good time to consider quitting.