There are few times in a woman’s life when optimal health is as important as it is during pregnancy. It’s a time when the health of the mother and baby becomes intertwined, and it takes a team-oriented approach to make sure that there is a happy ending.
The expectant parents, the medical team, and the dentist must all work together to design a health regimen that is best for both the mother as well as the baby. Since the oral cavity must always be viewed as an important part of the overall health, keeping a healthy smile should be included in the mother’s health regimen.
In fact, ignoring the importance of oral health during pregnancy can create long and short-term health complications that could easily be avoided. Problems such as tooth decay, gum disease, diabetes, pre-term delivery, and low-birth weight have been linked to poor or neglected oral health.
Brush and floss thoroughly. Expectant mothers may indulge in more frequent snacks and meals, increasing the need for more frequent brushing and flossing. Pregnancy also increases the risk for acid reflux, heartburn, nausea, and dry mouth, all of which are conditions that could promote tooth decay and gingivitis. Controlling plaque is the best way to prevent the consequences of these common conditions.
Maintain routine dental check-ups. Although most elective dental treatment can be postponed until after the baby is born, routine dental exams are the best way to monitor your oral health. Often, subtle changes within the oral cavity can signal an underlying health condition. Also, bleeding, cysts, and other inflammatory conditions are much more likely to occur during this time.
Monitor eating habits. For mothers who experience a change in eating habits, dental visits can be a good source of information and nutritional counseling. The dentist and hygienist can explain the impact that certain foods and beverages may have on the teeth. If necessary, these visits may include helpful advice regarding oral hygiene products, brushing techniques, and other preventative measures.
Amidst the excitement of pregnancy, don’t forget to pay close attention to your oral health. Contact the office of Drs. Jeffrey Sender and Scott Russ today to schedule your next visit.