Do you know what to expect when you’re expecting?
No doubt you’ve put together a comprehensive list of things you should do while pregnant covering all sorts of things like:
- Eating properly
- Staying active
- Shopping for nursery equipment
- Organising prenatal screenings
Unfortunately, one thing that often gets excluded from these lists is continuing to schedule appointments with your family dentist!
Taking care of your oral health is important, no matter what stage of life you’re at – and that includes when you’re preparing for motherhood!
Of course, as with so many other things in your life, your oral health is going to need to change. You might not know it, but along with fatigue and morning sickness, pregnancy can also affect your oral health.
Our Armadale dentist explains the link between pregnancy and oral health
Yep, you heard us right!
Oral health is important regardless of whether you’re busy planning for your little one – but it’s especially important during pregnancy.
That’s because oral care can become a tad more complicated while carrying a child.
How so? We’re glad you asked – to help you understand just how pregnancy can complicate things, we’ve put together this list of common questions that our pregnant patients ask us (as well as the answers!)
Question #1: Is it safe to schedule a dental checkup with an Armadale dentist?
Visiting an Armadale dentist is a must – unfortunately, some pregnant women put this at the back of their mind or let it slip to the bottom of their list of priorities. Others assume that it’s plain dangerous (luckily, they’re wrong!)
Visiting a dentist in Armadale means that you’re not only taking care of your health but also the health of your baby.
All the usual teeth and gum issues don’t stop just because you’re carrying a baby in your belly – you’ll still have to deal with issues such as:
- Tooth decay
- Inflamed gums
- Broken teeth
Remember that the mouth-body connection exists – poor oral health can impact the rest of your wellbeing, including the health of your baby!
Question #2: Is morning sickness bad for my oral health?
While it isn’t pleasant, experiencing morning sickness during your first and second trimester is perfectly normal.
What you may not know however is that it can negatively affect your oral health.
When you throw up, acids from your stomach are released. In many cases, they carry with them certain bacteria that can damage your teeth if they aren’t cleaned immediately.
Luckily, it’s a pretty easy fix – to take care of your oral health, all you need to do is continue observing proper dental hygiene and to rinse out and brush your teeth immediately after.
Question #3: How safe are dental X-rays during pregnancy?
Going for an X-ray can be intimidating even at the best of times – now add pregnancy to the mix, and it’s little wonder so many soon-to-be mothers are antsy about the effects an X-ray can have on their pregnancy!
Here’s the truth: getting a dental X-ray will pose no harm.
For starters, the amount of radiation is minimal. Not to mention, as dentists we’re interested in your teeth, which is why we use localised X-rays that target your head and not your belly.
We’ll also drape your stomach with a protective blanket or apron.
Fortunately we place a lead apron on all patients when we take X Rays so if you’re still early enough that you aren’t presenting or you are not sure, your dentist has you covered (literally, in this case).
Question #4: Is anaesthetic safe?
Some bigger dental problems may require you to go under anaesthetic.
And that raises the question of whether or not it’s safe.
As a result, many women end up avoiding essential dental treatment, leading to major dental complications.
Luckily for you, local anaesthetic is completely safe for the vast majority of women.
Don’t let your fears of local anaesthetic result in a major dental problem spiralling out of control – our emergency dentists in Armadale are able to look after your dental issues safely.
Question #5: How does MY oral health affect the baby?
You might not realise it, but your oral health affects the baby while they’re still in the oven by increasing the risk of a difficult pregnancy.
For example, some studies link gum disease with preterm labour and low birth weight, finding that the bacteria that causes inflammation can get into the bloodstream and reaching your unborn child.
Just another reason to keep up your brushing habits!
Question #6: How does pregnancy affect my oral health?
Pregnancy doesn’t just affect your routine or wardrobe – it also affects your oral health as well.
We’ve talked about plaque before, but in case you don’t remember, plaque is the sticky layer of biofilm that coats your teeth. Without regular brushing, this layer can harden, leading to a range of dental issues.
During pregnancy, elevated hormone levels can affect your body’s response to plaque, making them more sensitive to plaque build-up.
And as the root cause of a wide variety of different oral health problems including tooth decay, that translates into an increased risk of oral health problems.
Take care of your oral health with our family dentist in Armadale
We’ll take care of every member of the family – including those who haven’t been born yet!
Good oral health care before, during, and after pregnancy are critical not just to mum’s health and wellbeing, but to their baby’s health as well.
Concerned about your oral health? Want to learn more about how your dental hygiene habits can be maintained even during pregnancy?
Book a visit with our dental clinic in Armadale, and we’ll help you keep your teeth and gums – and your baby – healthy throughout your pregnancy.
Need help ASAP? In addition to checkups, our emergency dentist in Armadale provides a variety of emergency dental treatments – so call us anytime for immediate support.