Whether you’re planning a pregnancy or not, it’s always best to get a dental appointment beforehand. Have your teeth cleaned and your gums checked at your local dentist so that if there’s any problem, it could be treated right then and there.
While you should avoid any dental treatment during the first trimester (up to 12 weeks), it’s alright to receive routine dental care during the second trimester. While there, it would help if you disclose all the medications and vitamins that your doctor has prescribed, just in case the routine procedure you’re there for requires the use of drugs that could produce a counteraction and put you and your baby at risk. X-rays are also a definite no-no unless you’re in the middle of a dental emergency. If an X-ray is necessary, the dentist will implement all possible safeguards to protect you and your unborn child.
But if your pregnancy has reached the second half of the third trimester, dental visits should be avoided altogether.
You know how doctors tell you to stop drinking once you’re pregnant? The same thing applies to mouthwash, most of which contain alcohol. As much as possible, stick to rinsing your mouth with plain water instead of mouthwash.
It is common for pregnant women to experience bouts of morning sickness, vomiting, and acid reflux, all of which put them at high risk of tooth erosion. There are a number of things you can do to reduce this risk. One is to rinse your mouth with water immediately. Using your finger to smear some toothpaste on your teeth is also a good idea. If you have any sugar-free gum lying around, chew one or two to neutralize the acid.
As the cliché goes, you’re now eating for two, so you have to eat a healthy, balanced diet. It would be advisable to include dairy products like cheese and yogurt in your healthy diet since they’re good not only for your overall health, but also for the development of the teeth, gums, and bones of your baby.
You should also avoid sugary snacks. Craving for sweets while pregnant is understandable, but they increase the risk of developing tooth decay, and the bacteria from tooth decay can be passed on to your baby.
Of course, all the usual rules of daily oral care apply to everyone, especially pregnant women. Brush your teeth and floss regularly for good oral health. And make sure you have a Brushee on hand for those occasions outside the house!