If you’re expecting, you already know that pregnancy creates dozens of changes in the body. But do you know how it affects your oral health? Here’s what you need to know:
- See your dentist frequently. As soon as you confirm that you’re pregnant, you should make an appointment with your dentist. Your dentist will help you navigate any dental complications you might face, and make a plan to keep your oral health intact throughout the rest of your pregnancy.
- Understand the risks. Being pregnant changes the chemical makeup of your saliva and puts you at higher risk of tooth decay, gum disease, and so-called “pregnancy tumors.” Don’t worry, though – these conditions are all treatable. Meet with your dentist early on to learn more about them and understand what you can do to avoid them.
- Keep your mouth healthy. Some things don’t change during pregnancy. You should still brush and floss at least twice a day. Don’t forget to swish with mouthwash to keep your breath fresh and kill oral bacteria between meals.
- Learn about gum disease. Did you know that having moderate to severe gum disease can increase the risk of preterm delivery or babies with low birth weight? Talk to both your OB and your dentist about these risks.
- Get your regular cleanings. Having a dental cleaning during pregnancy won’t pose any risk, and can help promote good overall dental health. If you have dental insurance, your plan may cover an additional cleaning during your pregnancy, so be sure to look at your policy for details.
It’s natural to have lots of questions about pregnancy and oral care, so don’t hesitate to talk to your dentist to learn more!