Kingsport Dentist Blog

4 Things to Know About Oral Health During Pregnancy

Oral health and pregnancy

Good oral hygiene and regular trips to see your dentist are incredibly important for any Pregnant Coupleindividual. However, dental care is even more important for women who are pregnant. Because your oral health can affect other aspects of your health as well as the health of your growing baby, it’s crucial to be aware of the factors that come into play with your oral health during pregnancy. Here’s what you need to know about dental care and visiting your dentist when you’re pregnant.

 

1. Pregnancy hormones can cause gum disease. 

Gum disease is extremely common. For some, gingivitis and periodontal disease is a result of the lack of healthy oral hygiene routines. For women who are pregnant and experiencing a wide range of hormonal changes, gum disease can also be a concern. 

 

There is a broad range of gingival inflammation due to hormonal changes, but the better your hygiene and the less food by-products for bacteria to process, the less likely you are to experience inflammation. “Pregnancy gingivitis” can be kept under control if certain precautions are taken. Here are a few ways to prevent and protect your gums during pregnancy:

Schedule regular dental check ups.

We recommend all of our patients schedule at least two check ups to see your dentist every year. However, for women who are pregnant, Dr. Jake and Dr. Rick recommend more frequent visits. During your check up, you will have the opportunity to speak with your dentist about any concerns you have, and we’ll ensure your teeth and gums are healthy to prevent infection and other concerns which can interfere with proper fetal development.

Keep a healthy oral hygiene routine.

While you are pregnant, it is incredibly important to keep up with the oral hygiene routine you should have established by now. Brushing, flossing, and refreshing with mouthwash can prevent plaque buildup, the number one cause of gum disease. Making the extra effort to care for your teeth at home will make a huge difference in the long run and help prevent gum disease from developing. 

 

2. Morning sickness can cause tooth erosion.

Morning sickness is extremely common in pregnant women. However, many of our Pregnant Womanpregnant patients are often unaware of the damage the acidity from your stomach can cause teeth. Because the acid from your stomach has the potential to weaken your tooth enamel, it puts you at a much higher risk for developing cavities. Although morning sickness is inevitable for some during pregnancy, there are a few ways to protect your teeth from the harmful acidity and its side effects. 

Switch your toothpaste.

When you’re pregnant, you may find the tastes and textures of certain products you typically use every single day unpleasant, one of them being toothpaste. If your original toothpaste seems to make you feel more nauseous, do not avoid brushing your teeth altogether. If the taste is what bothers you, we recommend switching to a bland toothpaste which can help prevent morning sickness associated with unpleasant tastes.

Rinse your mouth.

Following morning sickness, we recommend not brushing your teeth immediately. Instead, it’s beneficial to rinse your mouth with plain water or a mixture of water and baking soda to help eliminate some of the acidity that can cause tooth erosion. 

 

3. Sugar cravings can cause cavities.

It is no surprise that sugar causes cavities, but you may not have considered how new cravings as a result of pregnancy can cause cavities if you don’t limit your sugar intake. Although pregnancy often causes women to crave sugary treats, it’s important to note how dangerous this can be for both you and your baby. 

 

Because you are at a higher risk of developing cavities while pregnant, sugar cravings could have an even worse effect on your teeth than the average person. It isn’t harmful to treat yourself every once in a while, but don’t make it a daily habit. When your cravings can be intense, there are a few ways to satisfy them without indulging in unhealthy snacks. Here’s what we recommend to pregnant patients who are craving a sweet treat.

Choose healthier options.

Keeping your baby safe and healthy during pregnancy should be your number one priority. It’s important to remember that the food you consume is also consumed by your baby. Many sugary snacks can be harmful to your baby’s health, so we recommend limiting junk food and sugary snacks. Here are a few healthier options to reach for when you have a sugar craving:Picture of Fruit

  • Flavored yogurt

  • Fresh fruit

  • Trail mix

  • Low-sugar or sugar-free popsicles

 

4. Teeth whitening can cause tissue and enamel damage.

Professional teeth-whitening services and products like those offered in our practice are safe for almost anyone. However, pregnant women are recommended to steer clear from these procedures, and many of the over-the-counter products available should be avoided by everyone.. Most teeth-whitening products found in your local drugstore contain chemicals that can not only be toxic but can also cause damage to tooth enamel and surrounding gum tissue. If you are looking for ways to keep your smile beautiful and white while pregnant, there are a few tips and tricks we recommend. 

Stick to natural solutions.

Whitening your teeth doesn’t have to come from teeth-whitening treatments. Instead, there are a multitude of ways to naturally whiten your teeth over the course of time. A few of the best ways to naturally whiten your teeth during pregnancy are:

  • Brushing and flossing in the morning and in the evening

  • Brushing and flossing after meals

  • Avoiding coffee, tea, and other dark beverages

 

5. Routine dentist check ups are truly beneficial.Picture of a Pregnant Woman

Routine dental cleanings truly are beneficial in that they help prevent cavities, prevent oral health concerns, and keep your teeth healthy and sparkling white. The first step to a safe and successful trip to our office while pregnant is to tell us that you are expecting.. You should also let us know exactly what medications you are on in order to avoid any confusion during your appointment. 

 

Pregnancy Dental Care at Bateman Dentistry

At Bateman Dentistry, we work hard to provide our patients with the best care and services possible. Pregnancy dentist appointments are incredibly important for you and your baby’s overall health. 


If you are looking for a dentist to visit for routine check ups while you are pregnant, contact us today to schedule an appointment.

 

Dr. Jake Bateman | Kingsport DentistThis content was reviewed by Dr. Jake Bateman of Bateman Dentistry. Dr. Jake Bateman is a Kingsport native who is passionate about serving his patients. Throughout college and his work experience, Dr. Bateman has received many awards and honors for his outstanding work and performance in the industry, including Academy of General Dentistry Senior Student Award, UT Advanced Prosthodontic Program, and more. Learn more about Dr. Bateman’s awards, experience, and hobbies here.

Posted by Jake Bateman at 12:00 PM
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