Personalized & Comfortable Dental Care, with offices in Idaho Falls, Rexburg and Arco.

Personalized & Comfortable Dental Care, with offices in Idaho Falls, Rexburg and Arco.

Keeping Your Teeth Healthy During Pregnancy

Pregnant woman taking care of her teeth

Once you find out you’re pregnant, whether it’s for the first or fourth time, there are some adjustments you have to make to your life while you’re growing your little one. 

From changing your diet, spending habits, creating a space in your home for when the baby arrives and changing your dental hygiene routine, there’s a lot that needs to be done. Keeping your teeth healthy is just one of the key components pregnant women need to be aware of to have a healthy pregnancy and delivery.

Continue reading to learn more about why dental hygiene is so critical to pregnant women, and steps you can take if or when you become pregnant to ensure that your teeth stay healthy during pregnancy and beyond.

Pregnancy & Your Teeth: What To Expectwoman with jaw and tooth pain

You may have heard before that the hormonal changes a woman goes through during pregnancy can impact her skin, weight, mood, energy levels, and even her teeth! Here are some reasons that a woman will experience a change in her tooth and gum health during pregnancy:

  • Hormones. When a woman’s body is growing another person, the hormones in her body will change drastically. One thing that happens commonly among pregnant women is that their gums become more irritated and inflamed, usually referred to as pregnancy gingivitis. Just like regular gingivitis, if pregnancy gingivitis is ignored and not properly taken care of by an Idaho Falls dentist, it can lead to bone loss in the form of periodontal (gum) disease. 
  • Changes in Diet & Eating Habits. Pregnant women across the world have been known to crave everything under the sun when it comes to food. And, since pregnancy means that you’re eating for two, you’ll find that you are eating more than used to before you got pregnant and may even be grazing or snacking all day. This habit, however, puts your teeth in constant contact with acid from the foods you are eating. This pregnancy habit if not controlled, can weaken the enamel of your teeth. 
  • Morning Sickness. Just like snacking all day, morning sickness (or all-day sickness for some women) can cause the enamel of your teeth to weaken due to the stomach acid that comes in contact with your teeth. Unfortunately, on top of feeling awful, this puts you at a greater risk for cavities. 
  • Exhaustion. During the first and third trimester of your pregnancy, you may feel very low energy and just want to nap all day. This is normal, you’re growing another person! Unfortunately, this sometimes means that usual routines can fly out the window. Don’t let this happen. No matter how tired you are, make sure you are still brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day and keeping your regular dental appointments with your Idaho Falls dentist. This will help to mitigate plaque buildup, tooth decay, gum disease, and gingivitis. 

Pregnancy & Your Teeth: What’s NOT Normal

While gums may become more inflamed and irritated during your pregnancy and you have a great risk for damage to the enamel of your teeth, there are some things that are not normal. These include but are not limited to:

  • Loose or wobbly teeth
  • Broken or chipped teeth
  • Extreme or acute mouth pain

If you notice any of the above issues occurring to your teeth both during and not during your pregnancy contact an emergency dentist in Idaho Falls immediately. He or she may help save your tooth and will keep you from experiencing any unnecessary tooth pain.  

How To Keep Your Teeth Healthy During Pregnancy

woman drinking a glass of water

Even though your dental health may seem like just another thing you have to worry about during pregnancy, keeping your smile and gums looking and feeling their best is really quite simple. Furthermore, you won’t need to take any additional steps to ensure your teeth are healthy, as long as you have been following a proper oral hygiene routine for the better part of your life. Here are some great ways to make sure that your smile and your pregnancy are as healthy as possible:

  • You should keep doing your normal dental care routine, as long as it includes brushing and flossing twice daily. The American Dental Association recommends brushing at a minimum of twice per day using fluoridated toothpaste. Following up with floss helps to keep bacteria from accumulating in hard-to-reach spaces and between your teeth.

  • After every meal drink at least 8 oz of water and consider flossing if there are any food particles leftover from the meal.
  • If you suffer from morning sickness, avoid brushing your teeth immediately after. According to the American Dental Association (ADA) pregnant people “should be encouraged to avoid tooth brushing immediately after vomiting, which exposes the teeth to stomach acids. Instead, they should opt for rinsing with a diluted solution of 1 cup water and 1 teaspoon of baking soda to neutralize the acid.”
  • Avoid snacking and grazing on food all day. As previously mentioned, the acid from the food constantly touching your teeth will weaken your tooth enamel.
  • Everyone knows that pregnancy can cause a woman to crave specific foods. Your favorite sugary treats like candy, cookies, or sodas may satisfy a sweet tooth, but you should be very cautious with how often you indulge in these sweets. They can cause serious dental problems when consumed frequently or without brushing afterward. Trade out these treats for naturally sweet fruits when possible, and never forget to brush and floss thoroughly after eating – especially after eating sugar-filled foods.
  • Increase your calcium intake during pregnancy. Calcium-rich foods include milk, cheese, yogurt, almonds, broccoli, kale, spinach, etc.
  • Increase your Vitamin D. Vitamin D helps your body to utilize the calcium you’re consuming. Opt for foods that are rich in Vitamin D like eggs, fatty fish, milk, cheese, oranges, and orange juice.
  • It is safe and recommended to continue visiting your dentist for routine dental checkups and cleanings during your pregnancy. However, it is imperative to inform your dental team about an existing pregnancy. Special steps must be taken to protect pregnant women from certain medications or X-ray radiation that could be harmful to your growing baby. As a matter of fact, avoiding teeth cleanings during pregnancy can lead to serious consequences, including advanced tooth decay and potential infections.
  • Contact an emergency dentist if something not normal happens, such as a broken or chipped tooth or loose teeth.

Signs Of Complications

It is important to understand and recognize the signs of oral health problems during pregnancy; in most cases an early diagnosis usually translates to an easier, less-invasive treatment. Symptoms of potential problems worth knowing about include gums that easily bleed or are swollen, reddened, or painful. These are symptoms of gingivitis, which can lead to a receding gum line and tooth loss if left untreated.

Call Eagle Rock Dental Care in Idaho Falls Today

With more than 30 years of dental excellence, we strive to make sure that all of our patients feel comfortable and leave with healthy, happy smiles. If you are pregnant or are planning on becoming pregnant and have concerns about how to keep your teeth healthy during pregnancy contact us today. And, if you need dental work done before pregnancy, such as a root canal, fillings, crowns, etc. don’t hesitate to contact our Idaho Falls dental office to schedule your appointment. We invite you to come experience a new kind of dental care at Eagle Rock Dental Care today. 

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