Important Tips For Getting Your Teeth Cleaned During Pregnancy

Getting your teeth clean while pregnant is no one's idea of a good time.  Pregnancy hormones cause an increased sensitivity to pain so even chewing food can hurt.  Increased blood flow leads to swollen and bleeding gums and puts you at risk for developing pregnancy gingivitis due to the presence of high levels of bacteria in your mouth.  It's vital to maintain good dental health while pregnant and avoid periodontal disease.  If you are pregnant and are dreading going to the dentist for a routine cleaning, then follow the tips below to minimize pain and avoid complications.

Get your teeth cleaned during your second trimester

The second trimester is an ideal time to schedule a cleaning.  Hormone levels are at their highest during your first trimester and stabilize in the middle of the pregnancy.  Your teeth and gums are also the least sensitive during that time.  You should hopefully be past the pesky morning sickness so you don't have to worry about getting nauseous and throwing up while you are getting your teeth cleaned.  Don't wait till your third trimester to get your teeth cleaned as it will be harder for you to lie still during the cleaning.

Don't worry about being anxious

Many women worry that their heightened anxiety during a cleaning will hurt the baby and may bring about pre-term labor.  While periodontal disease has been linked to premature babies, this can be largely avoided by keeping your gums clean and healthy.  

Remember that most pregnant women are anxious during dental cleaning and there have been no links between dental cleanings and adverse effects on a developing embryo.  You can further put your mind at ease by scheduling your cleaning in the second trimester when the risk of pre-term labor is at its lowest. 

If you have a significant dental phobia, talk to your dentist before scheduling a cleaning.  Be open about your concerns regarding pain and discomfort so your dentist can administer a gentle but thorough cleaning.

Some Additional Tips

Avoid getting cosmetic dental surgery till after you have given birth.  It's unknown how laser wavelengths and teeth whitening chemicals affect a developing baby so it's better not to take the risk and postpone cosmetic treatments till you are no longer pregnant.

During your cleaning, the dentist may discover a cavity that needs to be filled.  Because dental amalgam contains mercury, they are not a good filling material for pregnant women.  Ask your dentist to use a mercury-free composite filling.

Maintaining good dental health is beneficial for you and your baby.  Don't hesitate to contact a dental office like Carolina Forest Family Dentistry to schedule a cleaning.