Serving patients of Erwin, Jonesborough, and Greeneville TN
Pregnancy is an exciting time for a family. Ideally, you do everything right, and you’ll have a healthy baby. Prenatal care like visiting your doctor as recommended, eating a healthy diet, taking your vitamins, and exercising every day is essential to both mom and baby. But did you know that oral care is just as critical? Maintaining good oral health can help lower your risks of pregnancy complications. However, many moms wonder if it is safe to visit the dentist during pregnancy.
If you’re seeing the dentist for preventive care like your six-month checkups and cleanings, then yes, going to the dentist is absolutely safe in almost all cases. In fact, it’s encouraged! Keeping your teeth and gums in good shape by brushing and flossing daily and receiving routine dental care during pregnancy helps lower your risk of preterm birth and low birth weight for the baby. According to the March of Dimes, 1 in 10 births in the U.S. are preterm. That’s 380,000 premature babies a year! Unfortunately, premature babies are at risk of long-term health consequences like cerebral palsy, learning disabilities, chronic lung diseases, blindness, and hearing loss.
Poor oral health directly impacts one’s overall health, which could put your unborn baby at risk. During pregnancy, women experience an increased level of hormones, increasing the risk of oral health problems like gingivitis or gum disease. Eating habits also change, and pregnancy cravings may cause the mother to eat unhealthy foods, affecting their dental health. Additionally, pregnant women often are more tired than usual and may not feel like brushing their teeth before bed. These causes may result in pregnancy gingivitis, which is inflamed, tender, bleeding gums. It’s estimated that 3 out of 4 pregnant women have gingivitis, which is why good oral health habits and dental checkups are essential during pregnancy.
It is safe to visit the dentist, receive dental x-rays and usual dental care during pregnancy if ignoring the dental health problem could be potentially dangerous for you and your unborn baby. If you are concerned about your proposed dental treatment, speak with your dentist and your doctor. Additionally, it is best not to ignore any oral health problems that you may have during pregnancy. For most pregnant women, local anesthesia, commonly used for dental treatments like filling cavities or preparing a tooth for a crown, is safe during pregnancy.
What else can I do to protect my oral health and my baby?
Plan on sticking to your doctor’s prenatal care plan, take your vitamins, eat healthy, exercise, and brush and floss daily, even if you’re tired. If you experience frequent morning sickness that results in vomiting, talk to your dentist about additional ways to protect your dental enamel from acid erosion.
At Tusculum Dental Care, we are here to help patients achieve optimal oral health, and we offer our services to patients of all ages. If you need to schedule an appointment or want to learn more about protecting your oral health during pregnancy, contact Tusculum Dental Care by calling (423) 639-7575.