Congratulations, you’re expecting a baby! It’s time to take special care of your body and your smile. If you haven’t had a chance to visit your dentist before you got pregnant, go now. Dental cleanings and treatments are safe and encouraged for pregnant women.
During pregnancy, there may be a link between untreated gum disease and pre-term births or babies born at lower weights. To avoid the risk of spreading infections through your body, be sure to get treatment for cavities and/or other emergency dental work. Cosmetic dental work, such as teeth whitening, should be avoided during pregnancy. The American Pregnancy Association recommends that dental treatments be performed during the second trimester of pregnancy.
You may wonder if you should avoid X-rays during pregnancy. According to the American College of Radiology, no single X-ray produces enough radiation exposure to harm a developing fetus. Antibiotics to treat infections are also considered safe. The best way to have a healthy smile during pregnancy is to practice good oral health. Here are some tips:
- Brush your teeth gently with a soft toothbrush twice a day. Thoroughly clean along the gum line.
- Floss at least once a day.
- Go to your dentist’s office for a professional cleaning. Depending on the health of your teeth and gums, your dentist may recommend an additional cleaning during your pregnancy.
- Drink tap water with fluoride to help strengthen your teeth.
Pregnancy is an exciting time. Taking these small steps will help keep you healthy now and after your baby is born.