Pregnancy, especially if it’s your first time at the baby rodeo, brings many unexpected surprises to your overall health and beauty. If you are wondering why on earth your breath stinks or your gums are bleeding during this “special time,” don’t worry, you aren’t alone. While some women lose hours of sleep freaking out over every little change in their bodies, some aren’t taking enough precaution and care for their themselves in this fragile state.
One of the biggest mistakes a woman can make during this time, is with her smile. “There is a myth that when you are pregnant you cannot have dentistry done,” says Atlanta cosmetic dentist Ronald E. Goldstein, DDS. But this is not true. In fact, pregnant women need to see the dentist more often. You see, during the second and third month, the chance of pregnancy gingivitis increases due to a surge in hormones. “There is an excess of hormones and the gums can react differently to the plaque, causing redness, bleeding and tenderness that can intensify throughout pregnancy,” says New York cosmetic dentist Irene Grafman, DDS.
There is also an increased risk of cavities, which is not only bad for your mouth, but could be bad for your baby. “Pregnant women are more prone to cavities—due to Inflammation of the gums the bacteria normally found in the mouth may travel into the blood stream and perhaps to the fetus,” says Glenview, IL, cosmetic dentist William J. Cohen, DDS. “I once had a patient that developed 42 cavities following her pregnancy due in part to lack of care during the pregnancy,” says Dr. Goldstein.
So what’s your best oral care strategy before you give birth? “It is imperative to use stringent home care. Brushing and flossing the teeth at home as well as professional dental care is imperative during pregnancy,” says Dr. Cohen. “I encourage my pregnant patients to step up their dental hygiene appointments to every two months in order to keep all inflammation under control,” explains Dr. Goldstein.