Visiting the Dentist during pregnancy
Hi! Patrick here (the Patrick in Dr Patrick J Meaney and Associates, celebrating 30 years practice in Moss Vale)(and 36 as a dentist) (and 42 since I first picked up a drill…)
Regular patients here will quickly realise there’s something odd about my workplace: I’m surrounded by women. It’s only a statistical difference to the normal 50/50 population, but all the same, I’m the sole bloke.
That’s a good thing, obviously, but it also made me think that our patients are pretty well divided male/female, young/old, rugby league/AFL…you get the picture.
But what I do not see as much as I should, is women who are pregnant.
Why is this?!
I do not know, but, if I had my way, you would all have a check-up in the second trimester. Here are my 3 really good reasons to come to see us here in Moss Vale (even if you live in Mittagong, or Goulburn!) if you’re expecting. After your child is born, you won’t believe how little time you will have to look after yourself. It’s a great experience but the fact is if you have a dental problem you might find it difficult to see anyone for dental help. Probs a good idea to get a dental health clearance before things get serious!
When you’re pregnant, your hormones go haywire! And, what are normally docile bacteria in your mouth turn ravenous and they really really like what you’re making, and they can go to town bigtime just when you don’t want any problems. There’s a common condition called ‘Pregnancy Gingivitis’ that comes about because the bacteria feed off the hormones you’re producing naturally and your gums swell and become more sensitive and really bleedy. There’s a good reason to have a professional clean before you get into trouble with gums.
Morning sickness is just a fact of life for some women. All that acid is terrible for y0u teeth, and can cause great damage. Here’s a tip from my dental association: It might seem a good idea to brush your teeth straight after a bout of morning sickness but it’s not! Wait an hour or so as brushing so you don’t strip away your tooth enamel. The enamel is made soft by stomach acid and leaves your teeth more vulnerable to decay and sensitivity. While you’re waiting, try rinsing your mouth with water to remove the acids, chew sugar-free gum or try eating an acid-neutralising food such as milk or a hard cheese.
Before you go, you should know…
Unusual food cravings are a fact of life for many women during pregnancy. For instance, you might routinely wake up at midnight desperate for chocolate-covered pickles in ice cream, with a side order of chips and jalapeno peppers. If your cravings take a turn towards the sweet end of things, try to limit the sugary snacks and instead, choose healthier options such as fresh fruit with Natural or Greek yoghurt.