If you are expecting, you will have quite a bit to do! There will be visits to your doctor, shopping for clothes and furniture, getting the nursery ready, and of course, the new arrival will need a name. Keeping your pregnancy a secret from family and friends until you are ready for the big reveal is fine, but one person who needs to know right after you find out is your dentist.
If you are pregnant, think you might be, or if you are trying to get pregnant, you should schedule an appointment to see our dentist, Dr. Joyce Bahng. The next nine months (and the many months that follow it) will be busy ones. So, now is the time to take care of things such as cleanings, exams, and cavities. Seeing the dentist for a checkup now will be one less thing to worry about after the baby comes, and if you have an issue that needs attention, the first trimester of your pregnancy is the best time to take care of it.
Let’s say that you do need dental care while you are pregnant, and it is for something that just can’t wait. For example, you need a cavity filled or you need to have a root canal. One concern that you may have is whether or not it will affect your baby. The answer is no. Although the dentist may want to hold off some procedures, the local anesthetic used in dental procedures poses no threat to your child. It is also safe to have X-rays taken of your teeth while you are pregnant. However, if you are concerned about radiation, you should feel free to ask about wearing a protective apron and a thyroid collar.
There are also some issues that are specific to women that are pregnant. For example, you will experience hormonal changes that can lead to an increased risk of gum disease, so your dentist may want to see you more often during this time to make sure that you aren’t developing any problems. With pregnancy comes morning sickness, which of course means that you may be vomiting. When that happens, the acids in your stomach will find their way into your mouth and onto your teeth, which increases the risk of enamel erosion. After a bout of morning sickness, you may be tempted to reach for your toothbrush right away, but you should hold off on that urge. Instead, rinse your mouth with a mixture of baking soda and water. Then, wait for thirty minutes to give your saliva time to rinse away any remaining acid. There is also a condition which is known as pregnancy tumors. Although the name sounds a little unsettling, pregnancy tumors are harmless growths that may appear on your gums while you are pregnant.
Tooth decay will still be a problem, and if you are eating more carbohydrates while you are pregnant, the bacteria in your mouth can break down those carbs and use the sugars to cause cavities. So you should eat a healthy diet for you, your baby, and your teeth. You should also brush for two minutes at a time twice a day, floss once a day, and see the dentist as often as they recommends.
If you are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant in Sterling, Virginia, the next call you should make is to JB Dental Associates and TMD & Sleep Center at 703-444-4188. We’ll be happy to see you for a cleaning and exam, and to make sure that you enjoy great dental health before and after your baby comes!