If you’re reading this, then mostly likely congratulations are in order. There is a flood of information for pregnant mothers out there, some are true, others are myths which can cause fear. Here are a few myths which we will address.
I will lose my teeth during pregnancy
So, in simple terms pregnancy itself can’t just make your teeth fall out BUT it can increase gingivitis due to the hormonal changes your body goes through. Gingivitis is the inflammation of your gums and if left untreated, can progress to periodontitis. This is when teeth can become loose as your body attacks the bone holding them in place.
Dental treatments are unsafe during pregnancy
This is a very common question as you just want the best for your baby.
Yes, It’s perfectly safe to come to the dentist when you’re pregnant, in fact we encourage regular exams to assess how your teeth are coping.
In situations where there is extensive treatment needed, your dentist will decide whether it is best to postpone or not.
Dental x-rays are another matter. Although there is speculation, dental x-rays use very low doses of radiation and as a result, are unlikely to have negative effects on your unborn baby’s development.
However, we do try and avoid taking x-rays during the first trimester when the baby is first developing, again your dentist will make the best decision for you.
Morning sickness won’t have any effect on my teeth
Unfortunately it can affect your teeth to some degree. However, not everyone has the same level of morning sickness.
Pregnant women who suffer from acid reflux are the ones whose teeth will be affected the most. Stomach acid has a very low pH making it highly damaging to teeth. Imagine something almost as acidic as battery acid coating your teeth almost everyday. Enamel on the teeth is strong, but over time it can become thinner, exposing the yellow layer underneath by a process called dental erosion.
If you do suffer from vomiting and acid reflux, make sure to neutralise the acid in your mouth by rinsing out with a glass of water afterwards. Most importantly, DO NOT brush your teeth for at least an hour after vomiting as this is when the teeth are at their weakest point.
Pregnancy will remove calcium from my teeth
An old wives tale is that during pregnancy, the fetus takes calcium from the mother. This question is so commonly asked, I just had to address it. The misconception may stem from other factors such as the increase of plaque biofilm in the mouth which can increase the risk of decay. When people see that their teeth are weakening they often associate this with calcium.
In saying this, calcium supplements are often recommended by doctors as it helps with the development of the baby.
No matter what stage of pregnancy you are at, just remember it’s very important to keep coming to the dentist regularly. If you have any concerns that aren’t mentioned here then please visit your dentist to discuss your issue further.