Q: I just found out that I’m pregnant. Is there anything special I should be doing to help keep my teeth and gums healthy during my pregnancy?
A: Congratulations! This is a great question and a very important topic. Moms-to-be need to baby their teeth. Here are some tips on caring for your mouth as you care for baby-to-be.
To keep your smile glowing throughout pregnancy, regular check-ups should be part of your health program. You should avoid all elective dental treatment in the first trimester. During the last trimester dental treatment becomes very uncomfortable for the patient as it is very difficult to recline back.
Hormonal changes can shift your mood and change your diet. This increase in hormones during pregnancy can leave you more susceptible to swollen gums and the potential for periodontal disease.
Morning sickness acids can threaten tooth enamel. Months of frequent small meals and sugar cravings can expose your teeth to dental decay. Be hygiene conscious especially after sugary snacks. Brushing, flossing and prompt plaque removal will reduce the chances of cavities and gum disease.
Your baby and your teeth both need extra calcium make sure you are getting your share of dairy products and green, leafy vegetables.
An appointment with your dentist and dental hygienist at the outset of your pregnancy will get you on the right track. Your teeth will get a healthy head start, and you’ll be more aware of the changes that lead to dental problems.
Questions can be sent to Fred Eck, D.D.S. at Marco Dental Care, 950 N. Collier Blvd., Suite 305, Marco Island, or call 389-9400. Web site: marcodentalcare.com. He received his Doctor of Dental Surgery at the University of Detroit Mercy and is licensed by the Florida State Board of Dentistry.