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Pregnancy and the Dentist

During your pregnancy, there are many steps you can take to safeguard the health of both yourself and your baby, such as eating right, exercising, and making regular appointments to see your doctor.  However, many pregnant women are unaware that a visit to the dentist's office can also have a positive affect on the health of their babies.  Learn about why it is important to maintain good oral health during pregnancy, when it is best to visit the dentist, and what dental treatments you should avoid until after giving birth.

When a woman is expecting a baby, the health of her mouth may not be the first thing on her mind.  However, studies show that gum disease can be passed from mothers to babies, as can bacteria found in unhealthy mouths.  If you are expecting, this brief guide on dentistry for pregnant women is an essential read.

It is recommended that women schedule a dental exam at some point during their pregnancy, though any X-rays, elective, or cosmetic treatments should be deferred until after the birth.  Make sure you let your dentist know you are pregnant and maintain a healthy oral hygiene routine throughout your pregnancy.

Rising hormone levels in pregnant women can lead to swelling and bleeding of the gums, as well as a higher risk of food becoming trapped between teeth and gums.  Recent studies have found a correlation between gum disease and preterm birth, so dental hygiene is especially important during pregnancy.  Additionally, any necessary fillings or crowns should also be taken care of to reduce the possibility of infection. 

After the second trimester, it is safest and most comfortable to postpone dental treatment until after the birth.  Aside from the unforeseen dental emergency, most women opt not to undergo dental work during their third trimester, as lying on their back in the treatment chair becomes difficult and uncomfortable at this time. 

If you are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, it is important that you discuss your oral health with your dentist.  It is best to tackle any dental issues such as decay, cavities, or gum disease before becoming pregnant to ensure a healthy mouth for mother and baby, alike.

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