You are smart to encourage your clients to think about ways they can take extra good care of themselves while they are pregnant. A woman’s body goes through many changes during pregnancy and things that she does (or doesn’t do) can have an effect on her health as well as the health of her developing baby. For example, it is even more important for a woman to take care of her mouth and visit the dentist while she is pregnant.
Here are answers to some questions your clients might have about visiting the dentist while they are pregnant:
Yes! Going to the dentist before becoming pregnant is a good idea. That way, your client can be sure that her teeth and gums are healthy. If there are any problems, the dentist can fix them before she becomes pregnant.
Many problems with teeth and gums don’t hurt until the problem has gotten much worse. Regular check ups and cleanings will prevent trouble from starting and getting worse.
It is very important to go to the dentist even if there are no obvious problems.
Yes, dental visits are very safe and strongly encouraged by doctors.
Dental cleanings and exams during pregnancy are the same as any other time. Pregnant women can safely get a root canal or have a cavity filled using local anesthesia while they are pregnant. Even dental X-rays during pregnancy are considered safe.
The rise in hormone levels while a woman is pregnant can cause her gums to swell, bleed and trap food, which causes irritation.
The bacteria that cause irritation and swelling in a woman’s gums can get into her bloodstream and affect her baby. Recent studies show that a mother’s poor dental health can cause babies to be born too early or too small.
Pregnant women should visit the dentist at least every six months. But, if the dentist thinks an expectant mom is at risk for having gum disease, he or she may ask her to come back more often during pregnancy to make sure her gums stay healthy.
For more tips on how women can keep their mouths healthy while pregnant, visit our Oral Health During Pregnancy page.