Today’s post is for women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. Carrying a precious infant can not only consume your time, but your attention as well. However, don’t forget your needs and your health during these important months.
It’s critical to understand that the multitude of changes your body experiences during pregnancy also affect the mouth. Changes in your hormonal balance are required for growing a new life, but they can also compromise your oral health during pregnancy. Your gums are especially susceptible. In fact, the American Dental Association has conducted studies that reveal a slightly increased risk of low birth weight and pre-term infants in mothers with periodontal disease.
In order to keep your smile healthy, it is prime to visit your Knoxville dentist before you are pregnant. If you are already pregnant but haven’t visited a dentist in a while, we encourage you to have an exam. Your dentist can check your teeth and gums and advise you if any changes to your dental hygiene routine are required. If there are problems such as gingivitis, it’s a good idea to have your dentist monitor them throughout your pregnancy.
Any treatment – meaning care more invasive than an exam and cleaning – hopefully can wait until after your child arrives. If you have a dental emergency that needs to be addressed before delivery, the best time is during the second trimester. Modern x-ray methods are extremely safe but should be avoided if possible throughout your pregnancy.
When you arrive for your exam, be sure to tell your dentist that you are pregnant. If your doctor has given you special instructions concerning your condition, let your dentist be aware of those recommendations. Additionally, give your dentist a list of all the medications and vitamins you are taking. Throughout your pregnancy, be sure to see your dentist immediately if you experience any changes to your teeth or gums.
Remember, your diet significantly affects your baby’s health and development, as well as the condition of your teeth. A diet low in essential nutrients can impede your baby’s tooth and bone development. Meals and snacks high in sugar, especially when consumed frequently throughout the day, do not sustain your baby or your teeth. Make sure you get the recommended amounts of calcium, iron, vitamins A, D and C, protein, and phosphorus.
If you are looking for a well-respected and experienced family dentist in the Knoxville area, call Jim Erpenbach DDS at 865-584-8630. At Jim Erpenbach DDS, we provide first rate dental care and take special care of our patients who are expecting.