A study in 2015 showed that over 80% of people think their teeth look BAD in photographs. It also found that nearly 30% of people don’t show their teeth when smiling in photos on social media because they don’t like the way their teeth look. That’s a lot of people that are unhappy with the look […]
Did you know that you could actually save hundreds of dollars by using your dental benefits before the end of the year? This is a fact that many people simply do not know. While some dental insurance plans run on a fiscal year, many others run on a traditional calendar year. If your dental insurance plan runs on a […]
When expecting a new addition to their families, few women stop to think about how pregnancy may impact their dental health. However, shifting hormone levels paired with the delicacy of fetal development makes caring for a woman’s teeth during pregnancy critical both for their own health and that of her unborn baby.
Dentists should encourage patients considering conceiving to visit them pre-pregnancy as well as throughout their gestation period. Periodontal disease may permit dangerous bacteria to enter the mother’s bloodstream, potentially causing harm to her fetus. Dental health professionals can significantly reduce these risks by educating their clientele on proper oral hygiene while they’re expecting.
Preferably, women should book an appointment with their dental-care provider for a thorough cleaning and allow their dentist to check for any signs of gingivitis. Patients exhibiting signs of swollen, bloody gums should receive treatment before conceiving. Dental best practices include educating female patients of childbearing age about the importance of pre and postnatal oral care.
Prostaglandin in a pregnant woman’s mouth can significantly impact the chances of premature birth when it enters the bloodstream via cuts in the gum line. Infants born too early often need intensive hospital care to complete development. This puts an added economic strain on families during what is already a stressful time.
Diet During Pregnancy
Medical professionals have long known the importance of vitamin D in helping the body process calcium and magnesium, minerals important to oral health. However, only approximately 18 percent of expecting womenget their recommended daily amount of this vital nutrient.
Seek prenatal vitamins that include vitamin D or invest in a separate supplement. Dairy and fish both contain high levels of vitamin D, and seafood also offers essential fatty acids required for fetal neurological development.
How Pregnancy Hormones Affect Dental Care
The hormonal changes women experience during pregnancy impacts both teeth and gums. Women who experience morning sickness unwillingly expose their teeth to corrosive stomach acids, which can destroy tooth enamel. As the smell and taste of toothpaste can further nauseate pregnant women, rinse after vomiting with a mild baking soda and water solution to remove the acid. The baking soda neutralizes any remaining stomach acids on the teeth.
Babies born to mothers suffering from periodontal disease often suffer lower birth weights than those of mothers with healthy gums. As the disease progresses slowly, expectant mothers should undergo regular dental checkups throughout pregnancy to catch and reverse early cases.
What’s Safe and What’s Not
During pregnancy, the general rule states that maintaining regular dental care improves birth outcomes. However, dental health practitioners should urge patients to postpone elective services such as getting new braces or undergoing tooth whitening.
Dentists should likewise inquire as to all medications the pregnant woman takes, including over-the-counter supplements. Some drugs cause a decrease in saliva production, leading to dry mouth. With inadequate saliva production, food particles remain trapped in teeth longer, causing decay.
Other medications cause swollen gums or changes to gum tissue. Such patients should take care to see their dentists with increased frequency during pregnancy as their risk of developing gingivitis increases significantly.
Finally, women may safely undergo dental X-rays while expecting. Dentists should exercise additional precautions, such as covering the woman’s thyroid and abdomen before taking images.
Once a Woman Gives Birth
Once a woman gives birth, her body continues to undergo hormonal changes. While the postpartum period contains a ton of new responsibilities, reach out to new mothers and remind them of the importance of undergoing a thorough mouth examination to check for any gum disease and to pursue more aggressive treatment regimens if necessary. Breastfeeding mothers are especially vulnerable to gingivitis, cavities and calcium deficiency.
Dentists should likewise remind patients of protecting the oral health of their children. While most children don’t have a full mouth of pearly whites until their third birthday, dental care begins even before teething. Instruct new moms to feed infants breast milk, water or formula, and urge them to refrain from giving babies sweet juice drinks and other sugary beverages.
Healthy Mouth, Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby
Maintaining proper dental hygiene before, during and after pregnancy improves health outcomes for mothers and children alike. Dental health professionals should educate parents-to-be about what to expect and what problems to look for. When dentists and parents work together, more children have the opportunity to grow up strong.
During the month of May, National Dental Care Month takes time to remind us of the importance of caring for our pearly whites. Thaddeus P.Hyatt promoted preventative dental care in the early 1900s. Today, oral hygiene is learned at an early age. Brush twice a day, floss, keep the sugary snacks to a minimum and see your dentist twice […]
The recent documentary on Netflix,Root Cause, is causing quite a stir. Many are questioning the safety of root canals that have been done and their possible connection to cancer.Many Periodontists and Endodontists discuss the validity of these accusations made in this film. Do Root Canals Cause Cancer? This is a genuine question many patients are […]
What is Laser Dentistry? If you have never heard of this type of dental care ,now it’s time to learn. Laser Dentistry is a minimally invasive option when you are facing gum surgery, filling procedures, or other oral issues. Medical professionals use lasers, which are extremely focused light beams, to alter or remove tissue in […]
Everyone desires to have a bright smile. Most people are trying everything they can to get their smiles as bright as possible, which has made them turn to many over the counter whitening kits. Bleachorexia is the obsession for teeth whitening procedures in the hopes of whitening your teeth beyond it’s natural color. However, this […]
The traditional dental crown procedure requires at least 2 appointments with the dentist and it usually takes at least 2 weeks to restore damaged teeth.With Cerec crown restoration it can be done within 1 visit to your dentist and you’ll leave the office with your tooth and smile fully restored in just a few hours. […]
Clenching and grinding your teeth, also known as bruxism, can create enough wear and tear to damage your enamel, cause breaks in your teeth and create misaligned bite, Temporomandibular joint disorder or even loss of teeth. It’s the most common problem and there are many causes. Stress and anxiety can lead many people to become […]
There is one beverage dental professionals can agree on as being the most beneficial for our oral health, and the answer is good ol’ H2O. Although most people would say it’s the most boring beverage, water is quite beneficial to teeth, as it increases the pH of saliva, making it less acidic, thereby helping to […]