You’re expecting a baby, and your life is probably pretty hectic.
With all the things you have to worry about, regular dental visits may not score high on your list.
But don’t ignore your dental health, as it has a substantial influence on your general health, which in turn has a significant impact on the health of your child. So it’s important to keep a good oral health routine during pregnancy and beyond!
At Thornton Dental we are long-time experts in dental care for pregnant mothers, and put together this page of information to help expectant mothers be educated and confident when they visit us!
Issues during pregnancy
Pregnancy can be slightly complicated for dental health. According to the Australian Dental Association:
Hormonal fluctuations normal during pregnancy can worsen problems with your teeth and gums. This is why it is necessary to schedule regular check-ups and cleanings.
And, pregnancy does bring some issues with it:
You may get gastric reflux (heartburn) or morning sickness. Stomach contents contain acid and can coat the teeth when you vomit. This can cause dental erosion, which increases the risk of tooth decay as it dissolves enamel. Here are two strategies to fight this:
- Don’t brush for at least 30 minutes after reflux or vomiting. This gives your enamel a chance to recover from the acid attack.
- Do rinse your mouth with water after vomiting. This helps wash the acid away. After flushing smear a small dab of fluoride toothpaste on your teeth – this will refresh your mouth and help defend your tooth enamel.
Cravings for certain foods.
Cravings during pregnancy are a thing of legend, and the increased caloric requirements of pregnancy can lead to additional snacking. Control how this affects your teeth:
- Avoid sugary or acidic snacks and drinks (such as orange juice), which increase the risk of tooth decay and erosion
- Eat a wide variety of snack foods that are low in fat and salt, sugar, and high in fibre
- Drink tap water
- Rinse your mouth with tap water between meals.
Strategies for your pregnancy
Keep up on routine cleanings.
It’s safe to have teeth cleaned at any time during pregnancy, although many pregnant women avoid going in the third trimester as it can be uncomfortable to sit in a dental chair.
Skip X-rays, unless it’s an emergency dental visit. You can probably put this off for nine months.
Schedule procedures for the second trimester.
The baby is more developed by the second trimester, and many local anesthetics, antibiotics, and pain medication are safe to use after this point.
Delay optional treatments such as veneers or teeth whitening.
Watch for changes in your gums.
Hormonal changes can increase your risk of gum disease. About 50% of pregnant women develop pregnancy gingivitis, and some develop benign “tumours” on the gums. At Thornton Dental, we can manage these conditions and others!
Be aware that periodontal disease has been linked to preterm births and lower birth weights.
Pregnant women suffering from chronic gum disease were four to seven times more likely to deliver prematurely according to one study.
Brushing is essential, morning sickness or not.
Some pregnant women find that brushing their teeth leads to gagging. If this happens to you, use a soft, children’s toothbrush with a smaller head and brush later in the day when the gag reflex may be weaker.
Brushing without toothpaste helps some pregnant women. If this approach works for you, when you are done smear fluoride toothpaste over your teeth and don’t rinse.
Call in case of emergency. No matter how far along you are, a dental emergency means you need to call your dentist.
Thornton Dental and your pregnancy
The summary of all of this is that with very minimal precautions and alterations to your dental visits, you can and should get regular dental treatments during pregnancy. Leaving gum disease, tooth decay, and other oral issues untreated can be dangerous. Your dental health has a significant impact on your overall health, and on that of your baby too.
At Thornton Dental we are experts at treating pregnant women, and once they give birth we are also experts in children’s dentistry!
And if you are planning a family, it’s always a good idea to check in with us, to get any dental issues addressed before becoming pregnant. Then all you’ll need is good oral hygiene at home and about one visit with us!
Why Choose Thornton Dental?
Our mission is to make dentistry affordable, without sacrificing quality of care.
- We focus on patient care
- Exceptional infection control
- Friendly, approachable and experienced team
- Child-friendly and relaxing environment
- Patient comfort, safety and satisfaction are our primary goals
- Customised care tailored to your specific needs
- Integrity, high standards, premium quality materials
- Anxiety control and pain management
Thornton Dental has been serving the community of Thornton, Beresfield, Tarro, Woodberry, East Maitland, Chisholm, Raworth, Green hills, Metford, Ashtonfield, Tenambit, Morpeth, Lorn and surrounding areas of Maitland.
New Patients Promotions
- Pay No Gap: No Gap for dental checkup, clean, fluoride & 2 x-rays (with any health insurance)
- No Health Insurance: Only $145 ($95 for kids) for Checkup, Clean & Fluoride