From morning sickness to feeling super lethargic and low in energy all the time, pregnancy comes with all sorts of side effects. It can make you crave sour foods or the sweetest of treats. With constant doctors visits to check out baby’s progress, you probably have already heard about you and baby’s health status ad nauseum.
But what about your dental health?
When was the last time someone took a look at your teeth between all the sweet and sour foods, acid reflux, and vomiting? In fact, when SHOULD someone be taking a look at your teeth during your pregnancy journey?
Here to shed some light on pregnancy and how it affects dental care is Joyce the Dentist of Orange and Magnolia Dental Studio. Dr. Joyce Kahng practices in a boutique dental office in Costa Mesa, and is passionate about preventive and minimally invasive dental care.
This is such a great question because there is a misconception that pregnant women should not be going to the dentist.
In fact, it is the opposite!
For those who are trying to get pregnant, the best thing you can do is establish yourself with a primary dentist. Take care of any pressing issues ahead of time for a smooth pregnancy. If you do happen to have any tooth related pain during the pregnancy, you have someone familiar to call. As a bonus, a current set of x-rays will be on file.
Here are some other things you should know if there is ever dental pain during pregnancy: X-rays are considered safe if the Dentist needs to examine your tooth. Dental work should be reserved for the second trimester if possible. And finally, local anesthesia is usually safe. If you have any concerns, your dentist can get a pre-treatment clearance from your OB-GYN.
I do believe that calcium plays a role in the mouth during pregnancy. However, it is usually not in the way most people think. The pregnancy itself does not take away the calcium already in your teeth, but salivary calcium can drop and saliva is your body’s way of buffering conditions in the mouth that would lead to cavities. The mouth is always in a constant state of flux. From acidic conditions that promote demineralization, to being rebalanced into conditions that favor remineralization.
During pregnancy, the body drops in the calcium that would usually promote remineralization, not to mention the other gifts that come with pregnancy such as nausea and vomiting. These acid attacks can build on each other and throughout the pregnancy weaken the enamel.
Yes, if you are trying to get pregnant it is a great idea to have a current set of xrays and an examination from your dentist so that you can be prepared.
Pregnancy can be incredibly rough on the enamel! After throwing up, make sure that you do not brush your enamel right away until the conditions of your mouth have neutralized. I know it seems very conunterintuitive, but brushing in the presence of acid can accelerate wear.
One tip to help rebalance the pH is to use a pH neutralizing spray. I like these ones from Carifree, it’s a Ctx2 spray in a bunch of different flavors. I recommend keeping one in your purse. They can be used after meals, after throwing up, basically any time the pH would drop in the mouth. It also contains xylitol which is great for the teeth.
It is not unusual for the gums to have feel a little more swollen during time of pregnancy. The gums are extra sensitive to plaque at this time, so the best thing to do is to keep the area as clean as possible and maintain regular checkups and cleanings. The swelling in the gums will subside after the pregnancy is over.
Fun fact: babies are not born with the bacteria that causes cavities! A caretaker, such as mom and dad, actually have to transfer it to them. The transfer of saliva can happen directly through kisses or through sharing utensils, food, or licking a pacifier. Try your best not to share anything with your little one. As a mom myself, I found that to be extremely difficult. Baby kisses are the best! But I also had a ton of cavities as a kid so I’ve made a good effort to avoid sharing with my son as well. They are most vulnerable until the age of 3-4 as their palates are developing their oral microbiome.
I am the owner of a boutique styled dental practice, Orange and Magnolia Dental Studio in Costa Mesa. It is a 2 chair practice and I see one patient at a time, which I feel is pretty unique in today’s world! But I wanted to make an environment where I could fully enjoy doing quality dentistry and spend time with my patients instead of rushing from room to room. My focus is minimally invasive cosmetic dentistry. Therefore, we do a lot of bonding procedures such as black triangle treatments like Bioclear, Composite Veneers, and also minimal prep Porcelain Veneers. I also provide hygiene appointments to help keep my patients healthy and restorative procedures with a Biomimetic approach.
As a mom, I love practicing in a smaller environment so I can control the schedule around my mom duties. I fully believe in working hard. However, as I’ve grown I’ve decided to build work around the things and people who are important to me.
There you have it! Some top things about your dental health to keep in mind while you are going through your pregnancy journey. Not pregnant, but know someone who is? Send these tips and FAQs from Dr. Joyce the Dentist of Orange and Magnolia Dental Studio to someone you know who is currently pregnant or trying to get pregnant!
If you are interested in upgrading your smile and prefer minimally invasive cosmetic treatment, then check out her office today. Dr. Joyce Kahng does virtual smile consults, which are super informative and convenient for the on-the-go mom. Click here to check out her office website or here to follow her instagram for fun dental content!
Note: This content is solely for educational purposes and is not a substitute for informed dental advice from a dental professional.
Are you pregnant and considering having your maternity or newborn photos taken? Click here to check out my maternity portfolio. Click here to check out my newborn portfolio. Best time to reach out to schedule your maternity and newborn photoshoots is the beginning of second trimester. So don’t wait!
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