Medically reviewed by Dr. James Ko

Oral Health During Pregnancy

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Pregnancy is a significant phase in a woman's life, during which her body experiences many adjustments to facilitate the nurturing and evolution of a new being.

While expectant mothers often focus on maintaining their overall health, it is crucial not to overlook the importance of oral health during pregnancy. Hormonal changes and the body's increased vulnerability to dental problems can have significant implications for both the mother and the baby - that’s why it’s essential to understand the significance of pregnancy and dental care, along with the benefits of early detection of these dental problems.

The Importance of Dental Care During Pregnancy

Pregnancy causes hormonal variations in the body, particularly elevated levels of estrogen and progesterone. These hormonal alterations can directly impact oral health, rendering pregnant women more vulnerable to specific dental issues.

For example, hormonal changes may result in a heightened risk of gum disease, commonly referred to as pregnancy gingivitis. Signs of pregnancy gingivitis encompass red, inflamed, and sensitive gums that bleed effortlessly during brushing or flossing.

Early Detection of Dental Problems

Regular dental check-ups and dental care during pregnancy are essential in order to ensure early detection and treatment of any oral health issues. Dental professionals can detect issues like tooth decay, gum disease, or oral infections and promptly resolve them.

Going to the dentist while pregnant allows for early intervention, which not only inhibits the advancement of dental concerns but also minimizes the likelihood of potential complications that could emerge during pregnancy.

Safe Dental Work While Pregnant

Many pregnant women ask themselves the question “Can you have dental work done while pregnant?”. Nonetheless, standard dental care, encompassing cleanings, fillings, and X-rays, is typically deemed secure during pregnancy.

It is vital to notify your dentist of your pregnancy to allow them to customize the treatment plan as needed. Dental experts will implement essential safeguards, like utilizing protective aprons when conducting X-rays and refraining from specific medications, to guarantee the safety of both the mother and the growing baby.

Maintaining Good Oral Hygiene During Pregnancy

Maintaining good oral hygiene and dental care during pregnancy is crucial for pregnant women when it comes to minimizing the risk of dental problems. One of the most important ways of maintaining your oral hygiene involves brushing and flossing techniques for pregnant women.

Brushing and Flossing Techniques for Pregnant Women

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
  • Be gentle while brushing to avoid irritating sensitive gums.
  • Floss daily to remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth. Consider using floss holders or interdental brushes for easier access.

Visiting the Dentist When Pregnant: What to Expect

Visiting the dentist when pregnant can be a stressful experience, and knowing what to expect can go a long way to lessen any anxiety you may be feeling.

Recommended Dental Check-ups and Timing

Pregnant women should schedule regular dental check-ups throughout their pregnancy, particularly during the second trimester, as this period is generally considered the safest trimester for dental work and treatments.

However, urgent dental issues should be addressed immediately, regardless of the trimester. Your dentist will work with you to determine the optimal timing for any necessary treatments.

Managing Dental Anxiety During Pregnancy

Pregnancy can be a time of heightened emotions, including dental anxiety around the dangers of dental work while pregnant.

If you experience dental anxiety, it is crucial to discuss your worries with your dental professional. They can suggest approaches to aid in relaxation during dental appointments, including organizing briefer sessions, supplying diversions like music or films, or even employing methods like guided calmness or breathing exercises.

Nutrition and Oral Health During Pregnancy

A healthy diet plays a vital role in promoting oral health for both the mother and the baby. Here are some dietary recommendations for maintaining optimal oral health during pregnancy:

  • Consume a Balanced Diet: Include a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and dairy products in your daily meals. Limit sugary snacks and beverages, as they can increase the risk of tooth decay.
  • Adequate Calcium and Vitamin D Intake: Calcium and vitamin D are essential for healthy teeth and bones. Include dairy products, leafy greens, and fortified foods in your diet.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day to maintain saliva production, which helps protect teeth against decay.

Taking Care of Your Teeth and Gums at Home

In addition to regular dental visits, practicing proper oral hygiene at home and dental cleaning while pregnant is essential for maintaining optimal oral health during pregnancy. Keep in mind the following strategies:

  • Brush your teeth for two minutes, twice a day, using fluoride toothpaste.
  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid irritating sensitive gums.
  • Clean between your teeth daily using dental floss or interdental brushes.
  • Rinse with an alcohol-free mouthwash to help reduce bacteria and freshen your breath.
  • Maintain a healthy diet and limit sugary snacks and beverages.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking water throughout the day.
  • Avoid tobacco products and alcohol, as they can harm both oral and overall health.

Ultimately, pregnancy is a period when women must prioritize their oral health, as hormonal fluctuations can heighten the likelihood of dental concerns, making routine dental examinations and proper oral care essential during this time. Prompt identification and management of dental problems, coupled with secure dental procedures and a nutritious diet, help maintain prime oral health for both the mother and the baby. By focusing on their dental well-being during pregnancy, expectant mothers can guarantee a healthy grin for themselves and their newborns.

At Markham Smile Centre, our team of dentists is here for you to help you take care of all your oral healthcare needs with ease while prioritizing the safety of both you and your baby. Reach out to us today to schedule your consultation!

Andrea Galick

Andrea Galick is an accomplished Dental Hygienist (RDH) with a passion for helping patients achieve optimal oral health. Andrea has built a reputation as a caring and skilled practitioner who puts her patients at ease and provides individualized care that meets their unique needs.

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There is an ample parking space before you get into the office. The receptionists welcome us friendly with proper COVID-19 procedures in place. The staff worked with patient very patiently and professionally. My teeth cleaning was done by Ying, she explained every detail to me and I did not feel any pain or uncomfortable at all. Thanks to the best team !

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It's been a while since I've been to a dentist but I'm trying to get back on track with health in general. Overall it was great going to Markham Smile Centre! The receptionist (I believe she was Kim) was friendly. The hygienist, Ying, was attentive and gentle during the cleaning; x-ray tech (forgot her name, sorry!) was great too. Dr. Sara Riad explained things with good detail. Looking forward to going back!

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I was someone who was nervous and anxious about visiting the dentist, but the team at Markham Smile Centre has made me feel SO comfortable. Kim is so patient and helpful and Dr. Hwang and Rory are both so professional and wonderful. They thoroughly explain the procedure to make you comfortable beforehand and are very gentle. I now look forward to visiting the dentist!

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I found this place on a whim when I was looking for a new dentist in Markham. My hygienist ying was super nice and her cleaning was very gentle yet thorough. I saw Dr.Jason and he was very nice and informative in regards to what needs to be done and provided me with all the information I needed to make a choice. Would recommend this place to anyone looking for a new dentist, they’re accepting new patients!!

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BA

The clinic was clean and the staff was very polite. I particularly liked the fact that everything was explained to me before going in for the procedure so I knew what to expect at each step. The dental hygienist who did the cleaning for me was also very gentle and took my concerns into consideration. I will definitely recommend them.

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Upon arriving to the Markham Smile Centre, my son and I were greeted with a warm welcome by the receptionists. The hygienists and Dentist were very gentle and transparent with what they were doing. The hygienist that worked on my 9 year old son was patient and very friendly with him, which helped ease his nerves. Our overall experience was A+.

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Since I was little, I have always hated going to the dentist... Its always uncomfortable and unpleasant. These days, visiting the dentist isn’t so bad! Dr Jason, Rory, and the lovely staff at reception make the experience 100x better. I have had absolutely no issues with the gum graft and cleanings that I’ve gotten done here. Everyone is incredibly friendly and helpful, even when I’m calling in or emailing a hundred questions :). I would highly recommend Markham Smile Centre.

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