The health of your teeth, gums, and mouth are critical to your overall health and the health of your baby. As you take care of your mouth and get regular dental check-ups, especially during pregnancy, you are more likely to stay healthy and have a healthy baby. Lauren Neufeld RDH, BSDH, Oral Health Educator and Public Health Dental Hygienist for the Utah Department of Health Oral Health Program, says during pregnancy, our bodies undergo many changes and some of these changes can affect the health of our mouths, and so it is more important than ever to go to the dentist. Some of these changes include:
During pregnancy, hormonal changes can increase the risk of developing gum disease, which can affect the health of your developing baby.
During pregnancy, your gums are more likely to bleed and there is a greater chance of them becoming infected.
During pregnancy, you are more likely to get a build-up of plaque (a type of bacteria) on your teeth.
If you have a dental emergency, do not wait. Infections in the mouth can be harmful to you and your baby.
It is highly recommended to get your teeth cleaned during pregnancy to help decrease inflammation in the mouth.
Don’t skip your dental check-up just because you are pregnant! Going to the dentist during pregnancy is safe, important, and recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Medicaid will also cover a women’s dental visit during the pregnancy and up to 60 days after the baby is born. Remember, by taking care of your mouth and getting regular dental checkups, you are more likely to be healthy and to have a healthy baby. If you need help finding a dentist please contact your local health department or the Utah Department of Health Oral Health Program at 801-273-2995.