Total Health Dentistry for Expectant Mothers
We understand that as a new parent to be, you only want the best healthcare for you and your new bundle of joy.
Some people may look upon dental care as a “nice to have” or an “extra”, but maintaining proper oral care is actually an integral piece to your total health. This is especially true if you are expecting.
The 3 H's to Help Moms
During pregnancy, the fetus is just one big bundle of fatty tissue with cell membranes multiplying exponentially. It is an unmatched period of growth for the developing human. The fetus needs fats to fuel growth.
Healthy Fats Include:
If you are an expectant mother, you will need to adjust some of your eating habits to get more healthy fats. BBQ wild salmon, avocado, and a generous amount of olive oil on salad or in dips is an easy way to increase your fat intake.
So long as they are properly soaked, fatty nuts like Brazil nuts, cashews and macadamia nuts are a great snack. Switch from margarine or regular butter to butter produced by pasture-raised cows, and ensure if you eat eggs, that they come from pasture-fed chickens.
Of course, expectant mothers are not always able to keep any given food down. Try to make adjustments based on what agrees with your stomach.
We know that this is hard to hear when you have a “bowling ball” resting on your bladder. Hydration is an important focus, as it’s a relatively gentle way of detoxing.
In cases of excess swelling in your feet or ankles, you must remember that hydration isn’t the culprit—it’s a symptom. Work with your obstetrician to find the root cause of your swelling and address that. In the meantime, you still need to continue to keep up your hydration as best you can.
Great hydration can also help as a very gentle lymphatic flush, which can actually help with the swelling wince. Hydration pushes a good volume of water through your blood stream and provides gentle stimulation to the lymphatic drainage system.
Toxic heavy metals are never good, and are to be avoided especially during pregnancy. Mercury from amalgam silver fillings is by far the largest source of mercury in most women.
How to Avoid Heavy Metals:
Be sure to avoid tuna and other higher predator fish, and also be aware of mercury content in vaccines.
When it comes to dentistry, make sure you don’t get mercury-amalgam fillings. If you already have a mercury filling and have a cavity around it, be sure to visit a dentist who uses scientific protocols to protect you and baby from mercury absorption.
During the first trimester of your pregnancy (usually the first 13 weeks), most of the baby’s major organs develop.
While it’s fair that most mothers are focused on the nutrition of their baby, don’t forget about your own nutrition! It’s important to make sure you’re preparing proper nutrition during your first trimester, as well as throughout the rest of your pregnancy.
During your second trimester, cavity fillings and crowns are safe and important to have done to prevent potential infection. It should also be noted that the further you are in your pregnancy the more uncomfortable you will be when sitting in a dental chair.
Cosmetic procedures like teeth whitening should wait until after baby arrives.
It is safe to perform routine dental treatment in the early part of the third trimester. From the middle of the third trimester, routine dental treatment should be avoided.
Be sure to keep focused on healthy nutrition, not only for baby, but for yourself as well!
How Will Pregnancy Affect My Total Health?
It is common for oral care to fall by the wayside when you are pregnant. Everything from morning sickness to lack of sleep can shift the need to floss and brush one’s teeth. However, by not looking after your mouth and teeth, you could be putting yourself and your baby at risk.
Here are some of the issues that may occur if you do not continue to see your dentist regularly:
1. Pregnancy Gingivitis
Your mouth can be affected by the hormonal changes you will experience during pregnancy. This will cause some women to develop a condition known as “pregnancy gingivitis”, an inflammation of the gums that can cause swelling and tenderness. Your gums may bleed a little when you brush or floss. Gingivitis can lead to more serious forms of gum disease.
2. Increased Risk of Tooth Decay
Morning sickness can do a number on the mouth. Stomach acid makes its way into the mouth and can weaken tooth enamel, putting expectant moms at a greater risk for cavities. Your dentist may recommend more frequent cleanings to prevent this.
Frequently Asked Questions
Pregnancy is an exciting, anxiety-filled time in your life. The Sante Family Dental team is here to support you in your journey. We’ve assembled some of our most Frequently Asked Questions for expectant mothers, as well as their dental and total health care profile.