Dental care is important at all times in our lives, but some women’s dental health needs more care during pregnancy. It’s also important to look after your baby’s dental health from an early age, this preventive care will help make sure you both have healthy mouths in the future!
Here are some questions you may be asking yourself if you are pregnant at the moment or hoping to be soon…
Should I continue my dental check-up routine during pregnancy?
Yes! Changes in hormones during pregnancy may mean that you may notice that your gums become sore or swollen, and they may bleed. This is known as Pregnancy Gingivitis, but as long as you take care of your teeth and gums during your pregnancy, this should disappear after the baby is born. So, you should keep your teeth and gums clean and visit your dentist regularly to ensure no problems develop. Flossing during this time is very important, even if your gums bleed initially, this will settle down.
Yes, there are no problems with routine treatment. However, current guidelines suggest that old amalgam fillings should not be removed during pregnancy, and that new ones should not be put in, talk to your dentist if this is a concern for you. Routine dental x-rays are also safe during pregnancy.
Is pregnancy bad for teeth?
If you have morning sickness and you are often sick, rinse your mouth afterwards with plain water to prevent the acid in your vomit attacking your teeth, this will protect your teeth against tooth erosion.
When will teething begin and is it painful?
Teething should begin at around 6 months old and the process continues until all 20 baby teeth are in place. Most children do suffer some level of teething pain, this can range from warm to the touch cheeks, through to a high temperature. There are a wide variety of teething gels or powders available that you can use to help reduce the pain. This gently massaged onto baby’s gums using your finger. Teething rings can also help to soothe your baby, and some can be cooled in the fridge.
As soon as teething occurs you should start a tooth brushing routine. Using a baby toothbrush, with a small smear of fluoride toothpaste, gently massage the brush all over the teeth and gums. Babies are obviously not able to clean their own teeth, but it can create good habits by allowing them to hold the toothbrush and move it around their mouth while you supervise them. By age seven your child should be able to clean their teeth by themselves.
When should my baby visit the dentist for its first check-up?
Generally, the baby’s own check-ups can start any time from about 6 months or from when the teeth start to appear, but it’s best to discuss this with your dentist. It is a very good idea to take your baby to your own routine check-ups prior to this, as it can help the baby to get used to the surroundings.
Studies have shown that mothers who take care of their mouths and get regular dental care during and after their pregnancies can improve their children’s oral health, as well as their own.
When parents take steps to prevent tooth and gum disease, they help their children toward a lifetime of better oral, and overall health.