If you’re googling “a dentist for pregnant women near me,” you’re on the right track. Healthy teeth and gums before conception and during pregnancy are crucial. In fact, some oral health conditions may impact the fetus, and complications can include low birth weight and premature delivery.
Your dentist in Vancouver recommends exams and teeth cleanings on a regular schedule, usually twice per year. If you’re planning a pregnancy, we recommend a comprehensive dental checkup as part of that planning, especially if you have not visited the dentist in a while.
Pregnancy Planning and Dental Care
Making a dental appointment as part of your planned pregnancy allows your dentist to examine your teeth and check your gum health.
Gum disease has been linked to tooth loss and systemic problems like heart health issues, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and low birth weight in infants.
If your dentist catches gum disease in the pre-phase (gingivitis), we can reverse this condition with treatment, lowering risks for the mother and future baby. If your dentist discovers full gum disease, it is still treatable. We can take measures to improve your oral health by reducing inflammation and infections in the periodontal ligaments and tooth-supporting tissues.
Special Note on Gum Disease
According to the American Pregnancy Association, pregnancy hormones can cause gum swelling. This can trap food and debris, irritate the gums and lead to oral infections like gum disease.
Infections and inflammation in the tissues and ligaments supporting your teeth are the hallmarks of gum disease.
In the early gingivitis stage, you may not have many symptoms. But when the telltale signs do appear, you may notice:
- Bleeding gums when brushing and flossing
- Loose or mobile teeth
- An elongated appearance to the teeth
- Gum recession and pocketing
- Inflammation or reddened gums
- Toothaches or gum pain
- Bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth
Because you don’t have to have all these symptoms to be diagnosed, we strongly encourage regular dental checkups and teeth cleanings in Vancouver.
Pregnant Women and Dental Care
Regular dental care is not only safe during pregnancy, but it is recommended. Vancouver dentist knows how to treat your oral condition safely and will talk to you about all findings. We will also make recommendations that are deemed safe for you and your baby.
A dental checkup during pregnancy is similar to the examination you would have if you were not pregnant.
Your dentist provides a visual check of your teeth and gums, looking for signs of infection, cavities, or inflammation.
If x-rays are necessary, our team can capture oral images safely through digital technology. In addition, digital x-rays release a negligible amount of radiation compared to radiographs of the past. We can also shield your abdomen and thyroid, for example, and concentrate solely on a specific section of the mouth.
Your dentist can also screen you for oral cancers and safely provide treatment if an issue is uncovered—a cavity, for example.
Professional Teeth Cleanings
Professional teeth cleanings before pregnancy and during are where you really lower your risks for preventable conditions like gum disease.
We recommend cleaning your teeth during the second trimester only because it may be uncomfortable to remain on your back in the dental chair during the third.
Dental treatment, including dental fillings, can be safely performed during pregnancy. This includes the use of local anesthesia. Certain antibiotics, including penicillin, are also considered safe.
According to experts, conditions that may be common during pregnancy include:
- Gingivitis or gum disease triggered by hormonal changes
- Cavities due to dry mouth, snacking or vomiting
- Pyogenic granuloma is an oral growth triggered by hormonal changes
- Enamel and gum erosion and recession due to vomiting
The good news is that your dentist can safely treat these conditions and help prevent them throughout your pregnancy.
At-Home Oral Care During Pregnancy
As an expectant mother or a person who plans to become pregnant, you want the best for you and your child’s future. This includes keeping your teeth and gums healthy throughout pregnancy to avoid complications like gingivitis and enamel erosion.
We recommend brushing and flossing after every meal—or at least twice each day. You should also contact your dentist if you notice oral health changes or suffer from ongoing morning sickness. Vomiting may erode your enamel and lead to many preventable complications.
Your dentist or a member of our team can also provide helpful tips for at-home care, including customized advice that fits your specific needs.
For example, if you suffer from morning sickness, we may recommend not brushing or flossing immediately after vomiting. This can spread stomach acids across your teeth. First, you should rinse with one cup of water with one teaspoon of baking soda; this may offset the acid to protect your teeth and gums better.
Are You Pregnant or Planning a Pregnancy and Looking for a Dentist in Vancouver?
Women require dental care to combat or lower their risks for common oral health issues during pregnancy. If you would like to schedule a checkup or consultation, reach out to a team member today.