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Dental Care During Pregnancy

Prenatal Oral Health GuidelinesMany moms-to-be question whether or not it’s safe to get a dental checkup while expecting. The answer is yes. Preventative dental cleanings and annual exams during pregnancy are not only safe, they are recommended. It’s important to take good care of your teeth before, during, and after your pregnancy.

Pregnancy causes hormonal changes which can make gums swell and even increase the risk of developing gum disease.  Untreated gum disease can affect the baby and getting a checkup during pregnancy is important for you and your baby’s health. Most dental procedures are extremely safe while pregnant.  X-rays can, however, be performed safely if the necessary precautions are taken.

When you should Tell Your Dentist You're Pregnant

It’s important to let your dentist know as soon as you suspect you are pregnant, even if you aren’t certain.  Informing your dentist early on can help with awareness of what to expect and how to maintain proper oral hygiene throughout your pregnancy.

If you are taking certain medications or if your pregnancy is high-risk, certain procedures may need to be postponed. If you are experiencing any pregnancy-related symptoms, your dentist can help determine the proper steps in managing and treating them.

What to Expect when Pregnant

Dental discomfort while pregnant varies and contributing factors may include diet, oral hygiene habits, age, how far along you are, and heredity. Below are common conditions women experience during pregnancy.

Pregnancy Gingivitis

Pregnancy gingivitis typically occurs early on in pregnancy and symptoms include inflammation and swelling of your gums. The swelling is caused by a bacterial film from plaque buildup which grows on the teeth. The plaque can irritate the gum tissue which makes them more susceptible to bleeding. Pregnant women are more prone to getting gingivitis because hormonal changes can affect the body’s natural response to dental plaque which ultimately affects how gum tissues react to bacteria and plaque.

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is harmful to the mom, but it can be even more dangerous for your baby. Tooth decay can increase the risk of delivering preterm. Regular dental cleanings, proper oral hygiene, and a healthful diet can help prevent tooth decay from occurring. Common causes for tooth decay during pregnancy include:

  • Gum problems like pregnancy gingivitis
  • Vomiting
  • Increase in sugary cravings
  • Poor oral hygiene

Oral Pregnancy Tumors

Oral pregnancy tumors aren’t as common as tooth decay or pregnancy gingivitis but do occur and usually start growing in the second trimester. Pregnancy tumors are not cancerous. They are harmless growths in the mouth commonly caused by tartar build-up or inadequate oral hygiene.

Symptoms of Pregnancy Tumors

  • Swollen, red lump on the gums
  • Growth may bleed easily
  • Grows quickly
  • Causes discomfort

Prenatal Oral Hygiene Guide

  1. Become educated – it’s important to communicate with your dentist before, during and after your pregnancy
  2. Brush and floss often – brushing after meals and snacks, particularly sugary ones, can help reduce plaque buildup 
  3. Maintain dental cleanings – be sure to discuss with your dentist whether more frequent cleanings are needed
  4. Nutrition – be sure you are eating a well-balanced diet and avoid eating sugary foods

Momentum Insurance Plans

If you are without dental insurance and expecting, contact Momentum Plans today. To protect your dental health and your growing family’s, consider a dental health insurance plan by Momentum. With affordable dental plans for individuals and families, you can seek great care with true peace of mind knowing you are giving your child the best possible care.

Choose one of three plans and enroll in under four minutes.
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