Studies have shown that more than half of all pregnant women avoid seeing the dentist during pregnancy even when they’re suffering from dental problems – here’s why it’s vital to maintain your oral health during this important time of life. 
 
1. Pregnancy increases oral health risks 
The hormonal changes that take place during pregnancy can increase the risk of developing gum disease, often starting with the very common “pregnancy gingivitis”, pyogenic granuloma (pregnancy tumour), cavities, and tooth erosion. These conditions can, in turn, affect the health of your developing baby. 
 
2. Dental visits are perfectly safe during pregnancy 
Routine professional dental care is 100% safe during pregnancy, including local anaesthetic and, where necessary, dental X-rays. Tell your dentist here at Park Dental Care if you are pregnant and give us the names of any medications and prenatal vitamins you are taking in case we need to alter your dental treatment plan. X-rays are taken in the best interests of your baby. Advances in technology mean that X-rays are far safer today than in previous decades. For comfort’s sake you may wish to schedule a non-emergency appointment between 14-20 weeks – after most bouts of morning sickness have passed but before the baby grows so big that it may be uncomfortable to lie back in the dentist’s chair. 
 
3. Professional dental care helps prevent preterm labour 
Periodontal (gum) disease has been linked to an increased risk of low birth weight and premature labour. Studies indicate that bacteria can retard foetal growth by releasing toxins into the mother’s bloodstream that reach the placenta. The infection can also stimulate the mother’s body to produce inflammatory chemicals that can cause the cervix to dilate and set off contractions. Keeping regular dental check-ups before and during pregnancy can help to prevent gum disease, protecting both you and your baby. 
 
4. Morning sickness worsens tooth erosion 
When you have morning sickness maintaining peak oral health can be difficult – vomiting wears away tooth enamel, hastening decay and chipping of your teeth. Brushing too soon after vomiting can also wear the enamel off the teeth. Rinse your mouth out with water every time you’re sick but try to wait an hour before brushing your teeth. Attend regular dental check-ups so your dentist can keep an eye out for signs of decay. 
 
5. Pregnancy cravings can contribute to tooth decay 
Sweet-toothed cravings are common during pregnancy but reaching for the chocolate biscuits can contribute to tooth decay. Did you know that your baby’s first teeth begin to develop just three months into pregnancy? Eating a healthy, balanced diet is vital for the health of both you and your baby, and during your dental check-up here at Park Dental Care we will be happy to advise you on the best foods for both of you. 
 
At Park Dental Care, we take pride in offering individually tailored treatment plans to every one of our clients. Whether you are in need of prenatal, postnatal, or any other form of dental care, we are happy to help. Contact us today to book an appointment. 
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