Book Appointment Enquiry Form

Please complete the below form to chat with one of our friendly team. Once we receive your message, we will be in touch to answer any questions you have and book you in for an appointment. Alternatively, you can call us on (02) 9262 7778 or use our Online Chat between 8:00am until 5:00pm, Monday to Friday.

Book Appointment Enquiry Form

Please complete the below form to chat with one of our friendly team. Once we receive your message, we will be in touch to answer any questions you have and book you in for an appointment. Alternatively, you can call us on (02) 9262 7778 or use our Online Chat between 8:00am until 5:00pm, Monday to Friday.
pregnancy dental health

Pregnancy and your dental health

If you are pregnant, it seems everything in life needs a little extra research to make sure it’s safe! Rest assured a trip to the dentist while pregnant is not only safe, it’s recommended.  Being pregnant is actually when you should spend some extra attention on your dental health. It will not only keep you healthy but give your baby a head start in their oral health too.

To help you navigate your way through pregnancy and keeping your teeth and gums in shape, we’ve compiled a collection of tips so you can welcome your baby to the world with a bright, beautiful and healthy smile.

Pregnancy and gum disease (gingivitis)

The main issue affecting teeth during pregnancy is gingivitis commonly known as gum disease. This can be made worse with the surge of hormones that accompany pregnancy. Progesterone is a key hormone to keeping a healthy lining in your uterus, however it causes blood vessels in the gums to dilate making them more likely to be exposed to bacteria and become infected.

Gum disease can cause redness and swelling of the gums leading to bleeding of the gums when brushing or flossing. It is important to stay on top of gum disease as it can lead to more serious periodontal disease where there is a loss of bone in the jaw holding teeth in place. Left untreated, this can cause teeth to fall out. Gum disease in the mother has also been linked to pre-term births and lower birth weights.

A visit to the dentist, particularly in the second trimester will keep on top of gum disease so it doesn’t progress further. 

Morning sickness and your teeth

 If morning sickness leads to vomiting, the acid reflux from your stomach can damage teeth. It may feel refreshing to brush your teeth after vomiting, but it’s best to wait. After exposure to strong stomach acids, your teeth enamel can become soft and become damaged if brushed too soon. Instead, rinse your mouth thoroughly with water and a fluoride mouthwash, then, wait up to an hour to brush your teeth after vomiting.

Sugary pregnancy cravings

Easier said than done, but avoiding food and drinks high in sugar during a pregnancy craving is wise. Sugar stimulates cavity-causing bacteria. There is also research to suggest that children of mothers who have high levels of untreated cavities are 3 times more likely to have cavities as a child. If you succumb to a sugary craving, rinse your mouth with water shortly after to prevent the sugar from sticking around too long.

Dental X-Rays and Pregnancy

In a previous article, we covered how modern dental x-rays contain very low levels of radiation. While this is highly unlikely to have an effect on you or your baby, it’s always a good idea to notify your dentist of your pregnancy. The dentist can assess how and where the x-ray is taken and put in place any special precautions necessary. Ultimately, it is up to you if you want an x-ray taken but they are a crucial part of identifying dental issues and could avoid a dental emergency during your pregnancy which could cause more harm.

Pregnancy Epulis

Epulis are small benign tumors that can can form between the teeth during pregnancy. These develop due to a build up of bacterial plaque. Much like gum disease and pregnancy, it tends to occur during the second trimester. They usually disappear after the birth of the baby but may need to be removed surgically by your dentist if they do not disappear on their own.

Amalgam filling removal during pregnancy

Amalgam is a material commonly used in fillings. Amalgam fillings contain mercury which is a toxic substance to humans at certain levels. Special care is required for the removal of old amalgam fillings to avoid the leakage of mercury into the body. It is recommended to avoid both the placement and removal of amalgam fillings whilst pregnant and during breastfeeding.

Calcium intake during pregnancy

Calcium is key for bone growth and health, including teeth. Getting enough calcium for your bones and the baby will ensure neither of you miss out. The extra calcium demands of having a baby can result in your ‘bone bank‘ from being overdrawn. Dairy products such as milk, hard cheese and plain or sugar-free yoghurt will assist with calcium intake. Dairy-free options include almond milk, calcium-fortified soy and almonds.

Vitamin D helps calcium intake

Vitamin D helps the body utilise calcium. So a little ray of sunshine will do wonders, so too will fatty fish like salmon along with egg yolks and cereals fortified with vitamin D. Of course, always check the foods you eat and their suitability for pregnancy.

Notify your dentist when you visit

Telling your dentist that you are pregnant is important. Knowing this can ensure your treatment can be modified if there is any risk of any procedure or medication used. It may also allow timing of certain treatments to be brought forward or pushed back. Plus, as mentioned, the taking of x-rays can be managed and some extra focus can be placed on gum-related issues common with pregnancy.

Keep up your dental hygiene while pregnant

With everything happening with your body and baby during pregnancy, your dental hygiene might be put on the back burner. More than ever, brushing and flossing twice a day during pregnancy needs to be maintained due to the heightened risk of gum disease and tooth decay. Some mums-to-be find brushing at the back to induce a gag reflex. It’s important not to miss these teeth. Some people find using a children’s toothbrush with a small head helps. Alternatively, just take it slow or put on some relaxing music to take your mind off the task at hand.

If you’re planning on getting pregnant and your dental hygiene needs improving, get your teeth and gums into good condition now. Followed up by a solid routine and the help of your dentist, your teeth and your baby will thank you for it!

If you’re already pregnant, you do not need another thing to worry about and your dental hygiene should not be interrupted during pregnancy.

Dr Finkelstein Dentist can take special precautions to make sure your trip to the dentist while pregnant is safe for you and your baby. Apart from taking any necessary precautions, Dr Finkelstein can put you at ease and reduce any normal dental anxiety you may feel by visiting a dentist with a little one on the way.

If you think others will like this article, share the love

Check out our latest articles