Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Pregnancy, Babies, and the Dentist

babies and kids at the dentist

If you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, you should inform your dentist so he or she can help you achieve optimal oral health for yourself and your baby.  It is recommended you continue your regular exam and dental cleaning schedule as recommended by your dentist.

Dental Tips for Pregnant Moms

  • Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste to remove plaque buildup.
  • Floss daily to help remove plaque between the teeth.
  • Inform your dentist and physician of any changes in your health, medication, and diet.
  • Any elective dental procedures should be delayed until you give birth.  If dental treatment is necessary and recommended by your dentist, your dentist and obstetrician will advise you of any precautions to be taken. 
  • Moms may develop pregnancy gingivitis, gum inflammation that may include swollen and bleeding gums.

What is Pregnancy Gingivitis

  • Pregnancy gingivitis is gum inflammation induced by the mother's fluctuation in estrogen and progesterone.  Symptoms may include swollen and bleeding gums, sensitive teeth and gums, and gingival recession.
  • Pregnancy gingivitis is common during the second through eighth month of pregnancy.
  • Your dentist may recommend additional dental cleanings if the gingivitis promotes excessive bleeding and plaque buildup.

Nutrition Tips for the Mother

  • Your baby's teeth develops during the first trimester, hence adequate calcium and vitamin D intake is important for baby's optimal teeth development
  • A well rounded diet during all trimesters of pregnancy is needed for your baby to develop his or her teeth.  A balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, dairy, lean proteins, and essential fats is recommended.
  • Morning sickness and nausea can make morning brushing difficult.  Be sure to consult with your dentist and obstetrician if you are not able to brush in the morning.
  • Be sure to drink abundant amounts of water and calcium.  Water is good for your body and your baby's development.  Daily intake of water will also help clear your teeth free of plaque when you are not able to brush and floss consistently. 

If you have any questions or concerns regarding pregnancy and how it may affect your newborn, be sure to consult your family dentist.

From the desk of your gentle dentist in Bellevue,
Peter Chien, DMD, MPH
(425) 614-1600