The best time to get the dental care you need is before you get pregnant. If you are already pregnant, however, it’s still vital to maintain good oral health. Recent research has shown a link between prenatal gum disease and preterm and low birth weight babies. Pregnant women must take extra special care to keep their gum line plaque free during pregnancy to help prevent or treat prenatal gingivitis.
When Should You do your Dental Work?
We suggest doing any necessary dental work in your second trimester. Dental work in the first trimester and in the last six weeks of pregnancy should be avoided because these are critical times in fetal development.
Common Prenatal Dental Care Concerns
- Hormonal changes during pregnancy can increase the chance of developing gingivitis and periodontal disease.
- Inflammation existing anywhere in the body, including the gums, increases hormones in the bloodstream that can trigger preterm birth.
- Studies have shown that cavity-causing bacteria can also be passed from mother to child.
- Pregnant women should brush and floss twice a day for at least two minutes to keep their teeth and gums healthy.
- Pregnant women should avoid alcohol-based mouth washes.
- Prenatal dental care and emergency dental care are safe and necessary for the health of pregnant women and their babies.
- Cosmetic treatments should be postponed until after delivery.
If you are pregnant, make an appointment for a dental checkup as soon as possible to get prenatal dental care and to prevent periodontal disease-related complications during your pregnancy.