While pregnancy is one of life’s most rewarding journeys, it can also impact oral health in various ways – from hormonal changes to cravings. For this reason, the best dentist in Antioch, TN, encourages pregnant women to prioritize their oral health as they prepare for their little one’s arrival. One of the best ways to ensure a healthy pregnancy and baby is to schedule professional dental cleanings.
What Is Professional Dental Cleaning?
Professional dental cleaning, also known as prophylaxis or teeth cleaning, is typically performed by a dental hygienist or dentist to prevent oral health issues, such as cavities, gum disease, and bad breath. During a professional dental cleaning, the dental professional will use specialized instruments to remove plaque and tartar from the teeth and around the gum line.
What Happens to the Body During Pregnancy?
If you’re pregnant, you must understand that your body undergoes hormonal changes that can increase your risk of tooth decay, cavities, gum disease, and other oral health problems. Your gums become more susceptible to infection because of the hormones that affect the blood supply to your gum tissue. In addition, frequent vomiting due to morning sickness can erode tooth enamel, and cravings for sugary snacks can increase your risk of cavities.
How Often Should Pregnant Women Get Dental Cleanings?
Pregnant women are encouraged to maintain good oral hygiene and regular dental checkups during pregnancy. Moreover, the American Dental Association recommends receiving at least one dental cleaning during pregnancy, typically during the second trimester. This procedure ensures prompt treatment for tooth decay or gum disease because both conditions have been linked to adverse pregnancy outcomes.
It’s important to note that the frequency of professional dental cleanings during pregnancy may vary depending on the individual’s oral health status and risk factors for dental problems. For these reasons, it’s best for pregnant women to discuss their oral care needs with their dentist or obstetrician to determine the appropriate frequency of dental cleanings and other procedures during pregnancy. Additionally, they should let the dentist know about the changes in their health or medications they may be taking.
Why Is Professional Dental Cleaning Necessary During Pregnancy?
Reduced Risk of Gum Disease
The hormonal changes in a woman’s body can increase the blood flow to the gums, making them more susceptible to infection. Without regular brushing, flossing, and dental cleanings, sensitive gums can lead to gum disease, which can cause harm to the mother and the developing baby.
Tooth Decay Prevention
Since pregnancy cravings often compel pregnant women to consume sugary foods and drinks, they increase their risk of tooth decay. Regular professional dental cleaning helps them avoid this problem because the procedure prevents tartar buildup by removing plaque.
Early Detection and Treatment of Oral Health Issues
Professional dental cleanings help dentists detect them early on, which can prevent more serious oral health problems in the future. Furthermore, prevention is crucial for pregnant women because leaving these problems untreated can lead to complications during pregnancy.
Reduced Risk of Complications
Research has shown that gum disease can increase the risk of preterm labor and low birth weight. Pregnant women can reduce their risk of these complications by ensuring dental cleanings during pregnancy.
Improved Overall Health
Maintaining good oral health is critical to a pregnant woman’s overall health and well-being. They can avoid tooth decay and other dental problems by getting regular professional cleanings.