What to Expect (about Your Teeth) When You're Expecting
Did you know that by the fifth or sixth week after conception, a child’s teeth have already begun taking shape inside their tiny jawbones? And, by the time baby is ready to be delivered, all 20 baby teeth should be nearly completely shaped and ready to start erupting.
As a mother, one of the best things you can do is to understand the importance of taking care of your own dental health. This involves eating a well-balanced diet and avoiding sugary or acidic foods. By eating a healthy diet, you’ll be providing your baby with the necessary nutrients needed to develop strong teeth and healthy bones.
Still, many expecting mothers will have all sorts of questions about oral health during pregnancy, as well as their unborn baby’s teeth. Your Carlsbad dentist wants to look at some of the most frequently asked questions.
- What’s the best way to care for my teeth during pregnancy?
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the best way to prevent tooth decay and gum disease from developing is to brush twice a day and floss at least once. It’s recommended to use a fluoridated toothpaste to keep your teeth mineralized, as well as being able to remove any plaque that may be present.
- Does my baby get calcium from my teeth?
This is an all-too-common myth about pregnancy, which is entirely false. Over the years, many expecting mothers have been led to believe that the calcium needed for their baby’s teeth comes from their own. However, this is not true whatsoever since the calcium for baby’s teeth comes entirely from your diet.
- How safe is fluoride?
There are some women who take a fluoride supplement during their pregnancy. The idea is that the additional intake of fluoride will be passed onto the baby and will ensure that their teeth develop properly. While this may sound quite appealing, the practice has been poorly studied and its effectiveness is questionable.
These supplements don’t help in the formation of enamel because fluoride works best on teeth that are already fully formed and have erupted through the gums. This is because fluoride works by changing the chemical structure of enamel, making it more resistant to decay.
- Will pregnancy affect my gums?
When a woman becomes pregnant, her body will go through significant changes in hormone levels. One hormone, progesterone, has been known to cause a heightened response to plaque bacteria that may already be present on a woman’s teeth. Because of this, gingivitis is very common during the second and third trimester of pregnancy.
Some women may notice that their gums seem red or swollen and may bleed when they brush. For reasons like this, it’s especially important that you take proper care of your teeth during pregnancy and that you visit your dentist to make sure that there are no complications while you’re pregnant.
If you have any questions about your dental care while pregnant, give your Carlsbad dentist a call today at (760) 944-7911 and we can help you schedule your consultation.