Pregnancy is a wonderful life event that requires you to pay extra attention to your overall well-being. Whether you just found out or you’re due in a few short weeks, prenatal care is essential to making sure you and baby stay healthy.
Prenatal care is the healthcare you receive while pregnant. For many woman it simply includes regular check-ups with their obstetrician or certified nurse-midwife. But, regular dental check-ups are also an important part of prenatal care. They're safe and recommended by the American Dental Association and the American Pediatric Association.
5 reasons to visit your dentist during pregnancy
- Hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy often affect your mouth. More than 65 percent of pregnant women complain of bleeding gums, commonly known as pregnancy gingivitis.
- Pregnancy may also cause oral or gum lesions which can be painful and bleed. Roughly 5 percent of pregnant women report developing oral lesions.
- Morning sickness, especially hyperemesis gravidarum, can damage tooth enamel. Enamel is the hard coating which protects your teeth from decay.
- Women with untreated tooth or gum infections can pass along cavity-causing bacteria to their newborn babies.
- Untreated tooth decay in mothers has been linked to pre-term delivery and low birth weights.
So, what can you do to protect yourself and your baby? The best thing you can do is to visit your dentist during your pregnancy and keep up on your daily oral health routine.
3 tips to keep your smile glowing
- Brush for 2. Moms with untreated tooth decay can pass cavity-causing bacteria to baby. Make 2 smiles healthy — brush for 2 minutes, twice a day.
- Floss for healthy gums. Increased estrogen and progesterone levels make you more prone to pregnancy gingivitis. It’s characterized by inflammation of the gums, swelling and tenderness. Flossing helps remove harmful bacteria that fuels gingivitis.
- Visit your dentist. A routine cleaning will keep your smile on-track and ensure baby's smile has a bright future.
Prenatal dental check-ups are covered by our dental plans. Create or sign in to your MySmile® account to view your coverage. Then, schedule your prenatal dental visit.
Don’t have a dentist? Use our Find a Dentist tool to search for one near you.