Most dentists recommend you brush and floss daily, and have routine professional checkups and cleanings every 6 months. During those checkups, dentists will typically use X-Rays, and cleaning can involve breaking the skin and disturbing bacterial colonies, so pregnant women often ask if the normal recommended routine still applies during pregnancy.
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists now advises that Ob-gyns conduct basic routine oral health assessments during pre-natal visits, and recommends that pregnant women see a dentist during pregnancy. Routine cleaning, X-Rays, and local anesthesia have been determined to be safe during pregnancy, so standard dental procedures such as treating cavities with fillings and even root canals can be handled properly during pregnancy.
Pregnant women are particularly prone to periodontal disease due to hormonal changes. Research has shown that women with periodontal disease are at higher risk of delivering pre-term, low-birth-weight infants. For that reason, pregnant mothers with sore, swollen, or bleeding gums should be sure to schedule a checkup and cleaning, as treating gingivitis early is significantly easier than treating it once it advances to full periodontal disease.
It has also been discovered that decay causing bacteria can be transmitted from mother to baby, so proper cleaning can help minimize the presence of bacterial colonies in the baby after birth. This, in turn, helps decrease the likelihood of decay in the child.
Beyond routine cleaning, typical dental advice still applies: minimize sugary foods and drinks, brush with fluoridated toothpaste, floss once a day, and visit a dentist every 6 months for a professional checkup. If you have any questions, contact either your Ob-gyn or Dr. Middleton – they’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.
For more information on your oral health call Riverside dentist Dr. Gerald Middleton at (951) 688-3442. Visit our website for special offers, updates and to make an appointment, www.gmdental.com.
Accepting patients from Riverside, Norco, Ontario, Murrieta, Fontana and surrounding communities.