Falling pregnant is an exciting time and marks the beginning of a new life chapter. During this time, there are so many things to focus on that oral health is often forgotten about. However, there are several reasons why maintaining good oral health is beneficial to both expectant mums and their unborn bubs.

Ideally you should have a dental check-up prior to falling pregnant so that you can assess your oral health, have any required treatment carried out and create a dental plan for the pregnancy. Many dental treatments can still be performed safely during pregnancy. However, it is important that you tell your dentist that you are pregnant and in what stage of pregnancy you are in. This will allow your dentist to tailor your dental care and make appropriate medication choices.

General Tips
• See your dentist for a full check up, clean and pregnancy plan
• Brush for 2 minutes every morning and night
• Floss every night
• Maintain regular cleans with your dentist
• Tell your dentist if you see bleeding or experience sensitivity or pain

A dental plan for pregnancy should include an assessment of your teeth and gums to look for any potential sources of infection. Oral infections can impact your overall health and need to be prevented during pregnancy.

The hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy make the gums more susceptible to inflammation and infections. Therefore, it is essential to maintain a thorough daily oral hygiene routine of brushing and flossing throughout the pregnancy. It is common to develop gingivitis during pregnancy and whilst it will usually resolve after birth, it is important to monitor the condition closely. So, if you notice bleeding or sensitivity of the gums, contact your dentist and have them assessed.

By Dr Laurence McCarthy BMEDSCI, BDENT (HON)

Morning Sickness Tips
• Don’t brush for at least an hour after vomiting as your enamel will be soft and vulnerable from acid
• Rinse your mouth with water
• Chew some sugar free gum

Dr Laurence McCarthy is an honours graduate of the University of Sydney. He is a principal dentist at Gordon Dental and is a clinical tutor at the University of Sydney. For more information contact Gordon Dental on 9498-3811 or email drmccarthy@gordondental.com.au