The Importance Of Good Oral Health For Expectant Mothers

The Importance of Good Oral Health for Expectant Mothers

Expectant Mothers want to do what is healthy for their babies and the way to give them a head start is to put them on the path to good oral health.  Maintaining your good oral health during pregnancy is especially important, according to Perinatal Oral Health Practice Guidelines.

Did you know, a pregnant woman’s oral health can impact her unborn baby’s oral health status? Research has found that approximately 18 out of 100 premature births may be the result of periodontal disease.  Additionally, further scientific evidence has shown the risks of dental care during pregnancy are far overshadowed by the benefits.

If you become pregnant, you must let the staff, at Summerfield Family Dentistry, know so your dentist can take safety precautions, while providing dental work.  Regular dental visits will help maintain and keep your oral hygiene at its best.  Before your dental appointment, meet with your obstetrician to go over any special precautions or instructions they may prescribe.

Schedule your dental visit today at (336)643-1440.

What Dentists Look for When Examining Expecting Mothers

When you visit Summerfield Family Dentistry, there are several things the dentist will look for when the patient is expecting.  First, an oral history overview by the dentist is performed to look for any issues.  This review includes your medical and dietary history.  The dentist wants to see if you are currently or have in the past used tobacco, alcohol, or recreational drugs.

Second, an oral examination is performed to look for signs of periodontal disease or any other risks.

Third, your dentist will ask some common questions related to your pregnancy.  These questions are non-intrusive.  Remember to answer all questions as honestly as you can so your Summerfield Family Dentist can give you a more accurate assessment.

  • When was your last dental visit? Or examination?
  • How many weeks pregnant are you? Or when is your due date?
  • Have you received prenatal care?
  • Do you have any swollen or bleeding gums? Or tooth pain?
  • Do you have any questions or concerns about dental issues?

As a precaution, we ask that you let your dentist know the names and dosages of all drugs that you are taking or that have been prescribed by your doctor.  You want to include medications and prenatal vitamins as well as any specific medical advice your doctor has given you.

Dental X-rays are the final possible step.  Do not be alarmed. Dental X-rays can be done during pregnancy. If x-rays are needed, your dentist will use extreme caution and protect you and your baby.

Recommended Perinatal Oral Health Practice Guidelines and Facts

There are some perinatal oral health practice guidelines and facts Summerfield Family Dentistry would like to pass on to you so you can keep them in mind.  Controlling oral diseases in pregnant women can potentially reduce the transmission of oral bacteria from moms to babies.  By performing the best practices of periodontal care is safe and effective at reducing periodontal disease and periodontal pathogens.

What can contribute to declining tooth and gum health?

Unsurprisingly, pregnancy can be extremely draining for expectant mothers, which adds a whole new level of exhaustion.  It is common for future moms to struggle with declining tooth and gum health due to the lack of strength to get up and brush.

Additional causes are contributing to tooth and gum health.  Hormonal changes that can cause pregnancy gingivitis, which is common, and can turn into periodontitis if left untreated.  Remember sugary snacks increase the chances of tooth decay and during pregnancy, the desire for sweets typically increases, thus watch your intake.

Morning sickness also does not help with oral hygiene. Stomach acid makes its way into the mouth and weakens your tooth enamel.  If morning sickness is preventing you from brushing, you can try rinsing your mouth out with water or mouthwash.  Additionally, if you can, try brushing your teeth at least an hour after vomiting. The acids in your stomach weaken the enamel, so brushing immediately after vomiting can cause the enamel to erode.

Promotion of Good Oral Health for Expectant Mothers

Expectant mothers can promote good oral health by doing the following:

  • Brush teeth twice daily with fluoridated toothpaste, especially before bedtime.
  • Floss daily.
  • Take prenatal vitamins, including folic acid, to reduce the risk of birth defects such as cleft lip and palate.
  • Eat foods that are high in protein, calcium, phosphorus, and vitamins A, C, and D.
  • Chew gum or mints that contain xylitol after meals if you are unable to brush.

Why?  After the baby is born, moms can potentially pass decay-causing bacteria to their children through saliva. Excessive bacteria grow in the mouth, then enters the bloodstream through the gums and travel to the uterus.

Pregnancy and Oral Health

Summerfield Family Dentistry is here to help with any questions you may have regarding pregnancy dental care. Please call us if you would like more information on how to promote good oral health for your baby.  Remember, at Summerfield Family Dentistry, your part of the family.