Patients at risk for dental disease, including pregnant women, may need to see the dentist more frequently to prevent or address dental issues including gum disease, cavities, or plaque build-up. Healthy dental habits paired with professional dental checkups and cleanings are vital to prenatal health. Prenatal patients are encouraged to speak directly with their physician, dentist, and dental hygienist for an oral hygiene plan tailored to their unique prenatal and health care needs. When scheduling a dental appointment, provide the patient care representative with details of your prenatal history including medical health, prescriptions/supplements currently used, and expected due date as well as oral health history and personal comfort level with seeing a dentist.
Oral Hygiene During Pregnancy
Healthy smiles are especially important for prenatal patients. The American Dental Association adds insight on maintaining healthy teeth and gums during pregnancy:
- Brush teeth twice per day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste.
- Use oral health products including chewing gum and oral rinses with the ADA Seal of Acceptance.
- Floss between teeth daily.
- Visit a dentist regularly for professional dental cleanings and oral health check-ups.
- Speak with your dentist directly about solutions for controlling plaque and acid attacks on teeth. For patients experiencing morning sickness that induces vomiting, rinse with a teaspoon of baking soda in a cup of water to prevent acid attacks on teeth, and delay toothbrushing for about an hour after rinsing with the solution.
- Drink water throughout the day, particularly following meals, to stay hydrated and loosen or remove any food particles sticking to or between teeth.
An increase in hormones during pregnancy can cause pregnancy gingivitis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports nearly 60 to 75% of pregnant women have gingivitis, an early stage of periodontal disease that occurs when the gums become red and swollen from inflammation that may be aggravated by changing hormones during pregnancy. Elevated hormone levels exaggerate the way gums react to plaque buildup. When plaque buildup is left untreated, gum disease can set in, and lead to tooth loss. Symptoms of pregnancy gingivitis generally appear as early as the first three months of pregnancy and include noticeably sore gums that bleed easily. Pregnancy gingivitis can be managed and even prevented by practicing good oral hygiene daily and keeping up with routine dental visits.
Prenatal patients are encouraged to eat healthy foods, avoid sugary snacks whenever possible and maintain healthy teeth and gums with routine dental cleanings and checkups and daily oral hygiene care. We deliver confident smiles by offering a complete range of dental services, convenient hours, multiple locations, and affordable fees. Contact us today at (1) 855-4-NO-FEARS or request a dental appointment online for fast, convenient dentistry services. We are conveniently located throughout the Pittsburgh area in Cranberry, Greentree, Greensburg, and Jennerstown.