Are you thinking about having your teeth whitened while you’re pregnant? Doctors recommend that you wait.
The nine months of pregnancy are filled with planning for the arrival of the little one. And there is so much to do! Between prenatal doctor visits and getting the baby’s room ready, your to-do list is already so long. If you’re thinking of adding whitening your teeth to that list, you can shelve that task for a future time.
The American Dental Association recommends against having your teeth whitened when pregnant because of the bleaching solution in the whitening product. However, that doesn’t mean you should neglect your teeth and gums while pregnant! Maintaining good oral hygiene will keep you and your baby healthy throughout pregnancy.
Caring for your teeth during pregnancy
Although you can postpone teeth whitening, your teeth and gums still need your attention. Pregnancy gingivitis is common in expecting mothers, causing gums to swell and bleed. The gum tissue may become so weakened teeth may start to feel loose. During early pregnancy, your dentist may recommend more frequent cleanings to remove plaque and tartar.
Pregnancy tumors, while not as common as pregnancy gingivitis, may also develop. Although the name sounds a bit scary, the tumors are benign. They typically appear during the second trimester as small, red bumps between your teeth and disappear after you deliver your baby. If they cause pain or discomfort, your dentist can remove them.
Let’s also not forget morning sickness. When you’re sick, your teeth are hit with enamel-eroding stomach acids. Thinner enamel makes your teeth more vulnerable to decay and cavities.
But with a few extra measures, you can protect your teeth during pregnancy. Follow these four tips to keep your teeth and gums fresh and healthy:
Maintain your oral care routine. Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Daily flossing can clean the spaces between your teeth where bacteria and food particles get stuck.
Rinse with baking soda. After a bout of morning sickness, you’ll want to reach for the toothbrush immediately. But a better way to reduce the acid swirling in your mouth is to rinse with baking soda and warm water. Afterward, you can brush your teeth.
Eat a healthy diet. Fill your plate with nutritious foods to feed you and the growing fetus. Ignore those pregnancy cravings and skip the sweets and fatty, salty foods.
Visit your dentist. Cavities can happen even during pregnancy. If your tooth is aching, visit your dentist. X-rays are safe while pregnant, and your dentist can treat the tooth with a mercury-free filling. However, it’s probably best to have teeth cleanings done before the third trimester, when sitting in the dentist’s chair may feel too uncomfortable.
If you’re concerned about undergoing any dental procedure, whether it’s teeth whitening or a cavity filling, speak to your doctor and dentist. Taking care of yourself and your child is your first priority, which may mean postponing elective dental treatment until the baby is born.
Dental care during your pregnancy
Schedule an appointment at Espire’s Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, location today! Our highly trained dentists will provide expert dental care during your pregnancy. Don’t live near our Oklahoma City, OK, office? Find one of our other locations near you.
Oklahoma City, OK
12448 St Andrews Drive
Oklahoma City, OK 73120