What Every New OKC Mom (& Soon-to-be Moms) Should Know About Oral Health
During pregnancy, you’re doing everything you can to make sure you stay healthy for the baby. You eat right, try to get a little exercise in, avoid alcohol, try to stay stress free, etc. Here at Pragma Dental OKC, we get it can all be a lot as our dentist is a mom herself. However, being a trusted Oklahoma City family dentist we do want to make sure something else isn’t getting left behind… your oral health!
Research shows there’s a strong correlation with a mother’s oral health and her pregnancy. Not only that, but how healthy her teeth are now will usually predict the health of her child’s smile later on in life. As such, it’s important to understand the relationship between a mother’s dental needs and the influence they have on their developing baby.
Gum Disease Risks
Scientific studies show that women with gum disease usually have a harder time getting pregnant. Once they do, the active oral infection has been said to raise their risk of developing preeclampsia. Women with periodontal disease have also been shown to have a higher rate of premature labor and give birth to babies with a low birth weight. More studies on this need to be done and there is still controversy around the topic. However, there is not controversy around periodontal disease’s negative effect on our own health. This is a great topic to bring up with your trusted provider and gauge their thoughts.
Treating Dental Problems
It’s safe to treat dental infections while you’re pregnant. In fact, it’s good for your baby. We don’t want the oral bacteria to spread through your bloodstream and throughout the body.
If you have a suspected cavity or abscess, a low-radiation digital X-ray is a safe way to pinpoint the diagnosis and plan appropriate care. To be safe, we’ll place a lead apron over your reproductive organs, which block-out any potential scatter radiation. Your baby will be safe!
Your Baby’s Smile
Plan to schedule your child’s first dental checkup by their first birthday or when their first tooth erupts, which ever takes place first. Before teeth come in, use a soft washcloth to clean their gums after feedings. Once their teeth come in, clean with a small baby toothbrush and a rice-grain sized smear of toothpaste twice per day.
What Can be Done to Improve Your Health in the Meantime?
It’s time to re-vamp your home hygiene routine! Invest in a gentle electric toothbrush. Use it along your gumlines twice a day for at least two minutes. Floss daily, cleaning between each of your teeth and just below the gumlines.
Hormonal changes can lead to gum swelling and/or bleeding, which can mask the symptoms of gum disease. Schedule regular preventive care appointments with our OKC dentist every six months — even during pregnancy! Since most women have a more challenging time laying back later on in pregnancy, you may prefer to book your visit in the first two trimesters.
Here at Pragma Dental OKC we’ll give expectant (and new) moms the resources they need to balance their oral health through pregnancy and set their child’s future smile up for optimal wellness. Schedule your next visit with our office today!