How to protect your oral health during pregnancy

Dentistry advice for pregnant women from Renton Dental

If you’ve recently become pregnant, may the Renton Dental team offer our warm congratulations! At this joyful time, you’ll no doubt be inundated with plenty of well-meaning advice and information from all corners.

And while most of this advice is harmless, recently we’ve noticed an increase in the mistaken belief that you should avoid seeing the dentist while pregnant. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.

In fact, it’s crucial that you continue to visit your dentist during pregnancy, both for your usual preventive dentistry, and to monitor the effects of pregnancy on your teeth and gums.

During this incredible life stage, maintaining both your health and that of your baby is vital. And a big part of that is ensuring you have good oral health across the term of your pregnancy.

The potential effects of pregnancy on your oral health

While it’s a myth that calcium is lost from a pregnant woman’s teeth and “one tooth is lost with every pregnancy”, you may still experience quite a few changes in your oral health.

Hormonal changes to your body can exaggerate the way your gums react to plaque, making them more prone to inflammation, bleeding, and swelling. These changes can then lead to an increased risk of gingivitis or gum disease and a greater chance of tooth loss.

There’s also the potentially harmful effects of morning sickness to consider. Acid erosion from sustained morning sickness will expose your tooth enamel to acid erosion, increasing the risk of tooth decay.

For all these reasons, visiting Renton Dental while you’re pregnant is highly recommended, both for your own wellbeing and that of your unborn child.

While most routine dental treatment is safe during pregnancy, you should avoid some procedures or medication in the first 3 months. Remember to let the Renton Dental team know you’re pregnant when you visit us.

Preventing oral health problems while you’re pregnant

If you’re newly pregnant, or planning to become pregnant, it’s a good idea to make an appointment to see Renton Dental straight away. Our dentists will thoroughly check the state of your oral health, and create a plan to ensure your continued good health across your pregnancy.

We may recommend you visit us in your second trimester for a cleaning and check-up, so we can monitor any changes and check how effective your oral hygiene routine is. Depending on these results, we may recommend a further brief dental appointment early in your third trimester.

You should also drink plenty of fluoridated tap water while pregnant, along with non-sweetened milk to provide calcium for your baby’s developing bones and teeth. Try to avoid drinking too many sugary drinks while you’re pregnant.

The Renton Dental team will try to avoid using anaesthetic or x-rays during your pregnancy to ensure the complete safety of your baby.

Avoiding gum disease during your pregnancy

New research suggests that gingivitis and gum disease could affect your baby’s health, with studies showing a link between premature and low birthweight babies and mothers with gum disease.

To prevent gingivitis while you’re pregnant, you should take care to keep your teeth clean (especially near the gum line) by brushing with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day and flossing thoroughly every day.

A healthy, balanced diet that includes plenty of vitamin C and B12 will help to keep your teeth strong, and more frequent cleaning appointments with Renton Dental will help control plaque, reduce gum irritation, and prevent gingivitis.

The Renton Dental team will be happy to help you look after your teeth and gums during pregnancy. To find out more or to book your preventive dental appointment, fill out the form here or call our friendly Renton Dental team today on 07 3369 2340.