For a woman carrying a child at any stage of pregnancy, maintaining good health in all aspects is vital. Many women are aware of the various foods and drinks they will need to abstain from, or the vitamins they will need to take, but taking proper care of their teeth and gums can often go unchecked. Hormonal changes induced during pregnancy can, for example, actually increase the risk of developing gum disease, which, while unpleasant and dangerous for the mother, can also impact the health of the baby. What follows are guidelines for maintaining good oral health for pregnant patients.
Prior to Conceiving
Patients who are planning on attempting to become pregnant should see their dentist for a full examination and cleaning before conceiving and any elective surgeries or routine treatments should be carried out in advance. If the pregnancy was not planned, performing any necessary routine dental health procedures should be completed during the middle trimester.
Some common drugs used in dental treatments can be dangerous for pregnant women and their developing babies, as well as unnecessary procedures like radiographs except in emergency situations. Any possible treatments needed or wanted by the patient should only be carried out after consultation with the patient’s gynecologist.
The Impact of Dental Treatments on Pregnant Women
Pregnant patients should be made aware of the possible impact of their pregnancy on their oral health and disclosed to the various limitations this places on common dental procedures so they can plan accordingly. Make sure they are informing their dentist of the stage of pregnancy they are in, the medications or prenatal vitamins they are taking, and any other specific advice their doctor has given them. As Ryan Ogburn – health writer at Writemyx.com and Britstudent.com – says, “Encourage good oral hygiene practices now more than ever – when you are treating a pregnant woman, remember you are responsible for the health of two lives.”
Maintaining Good Oral Hygiene
For patients struggling to maintain good dental hygiene practices due to issues like morning sickness, there are products available to help. Switching to a bland-tasting toothpaste or using a mouth rinse may be helpful. This also means recommending the right diet for your patients, such as encouraging them to reduce sugary snacks and maintain a healthy balanced diet to keep their own teeth from decay and aid in the proper development of their baby’s teeth, gums, and bones.
Whether the patient experienced any gum or tooth problems during pregnancy or not, getting another full examination post pregnancy is a good idea.
For more detailed guidelines for pregnant patient management techniques, please refer to this fully comprehensive guide provided by the American Dental Association (ADA) on promoting safe oral health for pregnant women. There is also plenty of research available for you to study in order to understand the best dental practices for pregnant patients, such as this study which discusses everything from the treatment implications of the physiological changes a pregnant women experiences, the risks of medications and procedures to both the mother and the fetus, when to perform any oral or maxillofacial treatments safely during pregnancy, and detailed information regarding the complications and compatibility of common drugs. This publication from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is also a great resource, offering a study into oral health care during pregnancy.
Evidently, for any woman who is planning on becoming pregnant, currently pregnant, or has recently given birth, managing their dental health is essential. Pregnant women are at increased risk of developing certain oral problems, including gingivitis, dental caries, and gum disease. Regular checkups should be continued throughout the pregnancy.
As dental blogger at 1Day2write.com and Nextcoursework.com Kyle Williams reminds us, “the pregnant patient should always be counselled by both their dentist and their obstetrician or gynecologist before making any decisions regarding their oral health, and should be educated on the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene throughout every stage of their conception journey.”
About the Author
Beatrice is a professional copywriter at Originwritings.com and Academicbrits.com, specializing in a variety of topics but finding the most interest in marketing strategies. She is always open to sharing her experience and giving advice to beginner writers uncovering all the peculiarities of creating content that sells. She also writes for PhDKingdom.com service blog.
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