Expecting Mothers Dental Q&A – Scottsdale Dentist

Pregnancy is an amazing and exciting time for an expecting mother. However, during this time, a lot of questions may come to mind about both the mother’s and the baby’s health. Dental care is an important factor within health during this time.

We frequently hear these questions from expectant mothers, and we’re happy to answer them here:

Is the calcium in my teeth used for development of my baby’s teeth?
Mothers who have had dental problems in the past frequently ask this question as they are worried to pass their troubles to their child. No — a baby developing in the womb acquires minerals, such as calcium, for their teeth and bones from the mother’s diet, not her teeth. A mother that ensures she is eating healthy, balanced diet rich in nutrients and minerals like calcium will help her own health and her baby’s development.

Are my chances of developing a dental disease higher when pregnant?
Pregnancy causes significant fluctuations in your body’s hormones, particularly increasing estrogen. With increased estrogen levels, changes can occur in the gum tissue’s blood vessels that may make periodontal (gum) disease (commonly called “pregnancy gingivitis”) develop. Later in pregnancy, it is also possible to develop non-cancerous overgrowths of gum tissues called “pregnancy tumors.” Considering that there is a heightened risk for gum disease during pregnancy, it is important to monitor your gum health closer and visit your dentist if you have any questions or concerns.

How should I take care of my teeth?
Like normal, it is important to brush your teeth twice a day with ADA-approved fluoride-containing toothpaste to remove plaque, bacteria, and food remnants that cling to your teeth. Flossing daily and using an anti-plaque/anti-gingivitis mouthwash also positively impact oral health. During your pregnancy, you should continue to see your Scottsdale Dentist for regular office cleanings and checkups, or if you notice any abnormalities, such as gum swelling, bleeding, and more.

Should I take prenatal fluoride supplements?
Studies on its fluoride supplement effectiveness do not support the idea that this will benefit you and your baby’s dental development. There is not data to encourage this professionally. Although, there is solid support from research that application of fluoride to teeth in young children just after they appear in the mouth has shown 99% cavity-free results using topical fluoride applications with sealants (in a study of over 1,000 teeth)!

Your Scottsdale Dentist is more than happy to assist you during your pregnancy. Call or visit us! The Dear Doctor magazine article “Expectant Mothers” covers more information on your pregnancy and healthy choices.