Pregnancy and Dental Issues

Pregnancy can lead to dental problems in some women, including gum disease and increased risk of tooth decay. During pregnancy, your increased hormones can affect your body’s response to plaque (the layer of germs on your teeth).

Pregnancy does not automatically damage your teeth. The old wives’ tale that warns a woman to expect a lost tooth for every baby is false. If the mother’s intake of calcium is inadequate during pregnancy, her bones – not her teeth – will provide the calcium her growing baby needs. This calcium loss is quickly made up after breastfeeding is stopped. However, the demands of pregnancy can lead to particular dental problems in some women.

With proper hygiene at home and professional help from your Macedon Street Dentist, your teeth should remain healthy throughout pregnancy.

Dental disease can affect a developing baby

Research has found a link between gum disease in pregnant women and premature birth with low birth weight. Babies who are born prematurely may risk a range of health conditions including cerebral palsy and problems with eyesight and hearing.

Estimates suggest that up to 18 out of every 100 premature births may be triggered by periodontal disease, which is a chronic infection of the gums. Appropriate dental treatment for the expectant mother may reduce the risk of premature birth.

If you are planning on getting pregnant, it may be a good time see your dentist or oral hygienist, to minimise your risk of gum disease.

Pre-pregnancy dental health

You are less likely to have dental problems during pregnancy if you already have good oral hygiene habits. Suggestions include:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice daily with fluoridated toothpaste.
  • Floss between your teeth.
  • Visit your Macedon Street Dentist or oral hygienist regularly.

Tell your dentist if you are pregnant

Pregnancy may affect your dental care. While routine dental treatment is usually safe during pregnancy, some procedures or medication should be avoided in the first three months (first trimester).

Your dentist may put off taking x-rays until after the birth of your baby. However, if dental x-rays are unavoidable, the dentist can take precautions to ensure your baby’s safety. If your dental condition requires general anaesthesia or medications, talk to your dentist, doctor or obstetrician for advice. Non-urgent procedures are often performed after the first trimester.


Tips To Care For Teeth

Tips to care for teeth

Teeth are important for eating, speaking and socialising, so it’s important to take good care of them.

Some tips include:

  • Brush teeth and along the gum line twice a day, in the morning and at night before bed. Use a toothbrush that has a small head and soft bristles.
  • Over 18 months of age, use a fluoride toothpaste. Use low fluoride for children aged 18 months to six years of age, and standard fluoride for people six years and older.
  • Avoid sugary foods and drinks. If you do have these foods, it is better to have them at meal times rather than between meals. Also avoid foods and drinks that are acidic – for example, soft drinks and fruit juices, as acid damages the tooth surface.
  • Drink plenty of tap water. Most of Victoria’s tap water has fluoride in it, which helps to repair the tooth surface.
  • Ask your oral health professional how often you should have a dental check-up.
  • Wear a mouthguard when you train for and play sports where your teeth could get damaged.
  • Quit smoking to improve your oral health and general health.
  • Limit alcohol consumption.