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Pregnancy can take a toll on teeth, even when doing your best to get the nutrients necessary to support your baby and your body.
To avoid the discomfort, treatment, and cost of extensive dental work, be sure to include extra dental visits as part of your routine prenatal care.
Some of the dental issues that can be triggered by pregnancy include:
- Increased cavities
- Discolored teeth
- Loose teeth
- Gum disease
Hormonal changes increase the mouth’s acidity, often leading to rapidly spreading decay. Cravings may also cause you to consume more sugar, increasing the chances of developing cavities.
Use an anti-cavity mouthwash and drink extra water throughout the day to keep your teeth clean. Even if you brush twice a day, consider brushing after eating lunch, sugary snacks, or citrus. Also, remember to floss.
Restoring Teeth Damaged by Decay
Tooth-colored composite fillings do a nice and aesthetically pleasing job of repairing most cavities. Still, for large cavities that require a more comprehensive treatment, porcelain crowns are the ideal solution.
In addition to causing cavities, the fluctuating acid in your mouth can also stain your teeth, especially if you eat healthy dark fruits or drink highly pigmented juices.
Using a straw to protect your teeth while drinking dark juices or other liquids can help prevent dental stains.
Brightening Your Teeth After Pregnancy
Professional teeth whitening is the fastest and most effective way to brighten your teeth (and can whiten up to eight shades lighter). For your baby’s safety, wait until after your pregnancy to seek professional teeth whitening treatments.
During pregnancy, oral connective tissue and bone may loosen, resulting in teeth that wiggle. While distressing, this instability is temporary, and tooth loss is unlikely. However, if you experience symptoms of gum disease, see your dentist immediately.
Because the increased flexibility of your dentition should resolve by the end of your pregnancy, just continue to be vigilant in your home oral health care routine and by seeing your dentist more frequently.
Replacing Lost Teeth
If pregnancy causes you to experience severe oral health complications and you lose a tooth for any reason, dental implants are recommended to replace the entire tooth from root to crown.
Dental implant placement should also be delayed until after your pregnancy.
By the third trimester, inflammation can lead to swollen and bleeding gums and cause bacteria and plaque to stick to teeth and reach under the gumline.
Once established, these substances may cause gum and bone infections. Left untreated, bacteria from gum infections can permeate the bloodstream and cause a serious systemic illness.
When you take your oral health seriously during your pregnancy, you can reduce the threat to your smile and to your and your baby’s overall well-being.
Tips for the Oral and Overall Health of Your Unborn Baby
It’s crucial to inform your dentist that you are pregnant so they can modify your treatment plan. Certain anesthetics are safer than others during pregnancy, and some cosmetic treatments are best postponed until after you deliver your baby.
However, emergency and preventive treatments are safe during pregnancy, and postponing necessary care for progressing gum disease can increase the risk of premature childbirth.
If you experience a localized, systemic, or dental infection, ask your doctor about the effects this and your antibiotic options may have on your developing child.
Some infections and certain medications (like tetracycline and doxycycline) can interfere with the formation of enamel in babies and lead to tooth discoloration.
Even excessive fluoride can cause white spots (fluorosis) on baby teeth.
Looking for a Highly Respected Beverly Hills Cosmetic Dentist to Restore Your Smile?
Taking good care of your teeth is always important, and paying close attention to your oral health during pregnancy will help you maintain a healthy and beautiful smile.
As a well-known Beverly Hills, California, dental provider and “Hollywood’s premier cosmetic dentist to the stars,” Dr. Kevin Sands treats some of Los Angeles’ most high-profile celebrities and keeps their smiles camera-ready. You can trust Dr. Sands to improve the overall aesthetic quality of your teeth with customized cosmetic dental treatments.
If you are pregnant or have recently given birth and are ready to schedule your Beverly Hills, California, cosmetic dentistry appointment, call (310) 273-0111 today. Dr. Sands currently has some limited new patient visits available.