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Pregnancy & Oral Care

Is there a connection between my diet pregnancy and my oral health?

Eating a balanced diet is necessary to provide the correct amounts of nutrients to nourish both you and your baby. What you eat during the nine months of pregnancy affects the development of your unborn baby- including teeth. Your baby’s teeth begin to develop between the third and sixth month of pregnancy, so it is important that you receive sufficient amounts of nutrients – especially calcium, protein, phosphorous, and vitamins A, C, and D.

 What if I'm pregnant and need a dental radiographic examination?

A radiograph may be needed for dental treatment or a dental emergency that can’t wait until after the baby is born.  Untreated dental infections can pose a risk to the baby, and dental treatment may be necessary to maintain the health of the mother and child.  Radiation from dental X-rays is extremely low.  However, every precaution is taken to minimize radiation exposure.  A leaded apron minimizes exposure to the abdomen and should be used when any dental radiograph is taken. A leaded thyroid collar can protect the thyroid from radiation, and should be used whenever possible.  The use of a leaded thyroid collar is strongly recommended for women of childbearing age, pregnant women and children.  Dental radiographs are not contraindicated if one is trying to become pregnant or is breast feeding.

 Does pregnancy affect my gums?

During pregnancy, your body’s hormone levels rise considerably.  Gingivitis, especially common during the second to eighth months of pregnancy, may cause red, puffy or tender gums that tend to bleed when you brush.  This sensitivity is an exaggerated response to plaque and is caused by an increased level of progesterone in your system.  Dr. Basta may recommend more frequent cleanings during your second trimester or early third trimester to help you avoid problems.

What can I do to keep my mouth healthy during pregnancy?

To help prevent tooth decay and periodontal disease, brush your teeth thoroughly twice a day with fluoride toothpaste to remove plaque.  Be sure to clean between your teeth daily with floss or interdental cleaners.  Ask Dr. Basta to show you how to brush and floss correctly.  When choosing oral care products, look for those that display the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance, your assurance that they have met ADA standards of safety and effectiveness.

courtesy of the American Dental Association

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