Posts Tagged ‘teeth’

What’s one often forgotten, but very important, “must do” during pregnancy?

Monday, June 19th, 2017

teethThere are so many “do’s and don’ts” during pregnancy that it’s sometimes hard to keep track of them all. But one important “do” that sometimes gets overlooked is the need to keep up with oral care.

Somehow, brushing your teeth and going for regular dental cleanings seem to fall down on the list. But did you know that at-home and professional dental care are also important parts of a healthy pregnancy?

Pregnancy can affect dental health

During pregnancy, your changing hormones may affect the way your body reacts to plaque that builds up on your teeth. The result can be redness, swelling and bleeding gums called “pregnancy gingivitis.” In fact, nearly 70% of women experience gingivitis during pregnancy.

You also have more blood flowing through your body and more acid in your mouth when you are pregnant. All these changes mean you are more likely to have dental problems, such as loose teeth, gum disease, non-cancerous “pregnancy tumors” which form on your gums, tooth decay and even tooth loss. (See our article for more details on any of these dental issues.)

What’s the answer?

Consider oral care a “must do” on your healthy pregnancy list. Regular professional dental care as well as a good daily oral routine (brushing, flossing) are very important parts of your pregnancy.

Brushing your teeth is something that you’ve done since childhood. Even going to the dentist is something that (hopefully) you are doing regularly. Dental exams help to prevent tooth decay and gingivitis (gum inflammation), and let’s face it – your teeth look sparkly clean afterwards!

Bottom line

Take your prenatal vitamins, get plenty of rest, eat well, stay active, keep up with brushing your teeth, AND go to your prenatal and dental appointments.

Your smile and baby will thank you.

 

Have questions? Email AskUs@marchofdimes.org

When will the tooth fairy visit?

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

lost-a-toothBaby teeth start falling out between the ages of five and seven years. Interestingly, they fall out in kind of the same order they came in: the two front teeth, upper or lower, usually are first to go, followed by their neighbors, then first molars, then canines (eyeteeth).  So, the tooth fairy won’t start visiting your home until your child is about five to seven years old, but it could be a little earlier or later than that, and that’s fine.

By the time your child is around 13 years old, all of her primary teeth will have been replaced by permanent teeth. To ensure that your child’s teeth are kept healthy and free of cavities, it’s important to start a brushing routine with water right from the get go. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that parents start a brushing routine when teeth first start to appear. When she is old enough to spit it out, you can start using toothpaste, but make it a small (pea-sized) amount of a non-fluoride brand. Toothpaste containing fluoride should not be used until your child is two years old, unless recommended by her dentist. Fluoride mouth rinses should not be given to children under the age of six. Flossing? Start flossing as soon as two teeth start to touch each other.

The ADA recommends that your baby be seen for her first dental visit within six months of the eruption of her first tooth and no later than her first birthday. Sound early to you? Well, the dentist will check the shape of your baby’s mouth, her teeth and gums, but also look for signs of damage caused by thumb sucking. He’ll decide if your tot might need fluoride supplementation earlier than age two, and he’ll set a schedule for regular dental care and visits. Starting healthy habits early will help protect her teeth for a lifetime.

Bleeding gums

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

dental careDuring pregnancy, your body increases blood flow which can lead to swelling and tenderness in many areas, including your gums. Because of this, your sensitive gums may bleed a bit when you brush your teeth. That’s normal.

It’s important not to neglect your teeth and gums during pregnancy. Make sure you brush and floss daily and keep your regularly scheduled appointments with your dentist. If you have a toothache or other problem, don’t put it off until after delivery – address it right away.

As I mentioned, a little bleeding when you brush or floss is common during pregnancy, but if bleeding is heavy or comes with pain, redness and inflammation, call your dentist and have it checked.

For more information on dental care during pregnancy, click on this link.

Dental fillings during pregnancy

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

tooth-acheOuch! Your tooth hurts, and you wonder if you have a cavity. I don’t know about you, but I hate going to the dentist. But sometimes we have to put on our brave faces and make the appointment.

Is it safe to have a tooth filled while you’re pregnant? Some dental fillings contain mercury. When these fillings are placed in teeth and removed from teeth, they release a small amount of mercury vapor. Mercury vapor may also be released when a person with a filling chews.

In general, pregnant women should avoid exposure to mercury because it can harm the nervous system of the developing fetus. So it’s a matter of balancing the small risk of mercury exposure against the health benefits of dental fillings.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently issued its latest recommendation on fillings. The FDA says that mercury fillings are safe for most people, including pregnant women. (BTW: The FDA uses the technical term “amalgam” to mean “filling,” so don’t let the language confuse you.)

If you are pregnant and need to have a tooth filled, talk to your dentist about the options available to you. Healthy teeth are part of having a healthy pregnancy.

When to start brushing your baby’s teeth

Friday, May 15th, 2009

brush-teeth_thmAs soon as you little one’s first tooth appears, start a brushing routine with water. Later, when she is old enough to spit it out, introduce toothpaste.  The American Dental Association recommends that parents start a brushing routine when teeth first start to appear.  When you use toothpaste, make it a small (pea-sized) amount of a non-fluoride brand.  Toothpaste containing fluoride should not be used until your child is two years old, unless recommended by her dentist.  Fluoride mouth rinses should not be given to children under the age of six.  Flossing?  Start flossing as soon as two teeth start to touch each other.

So when should you actually take her to the dentist?  The ADA recommends that your baby be seen for her first dental visit within six months of the eruption of her first tooth and no later than her first birthday.  Sound early to you?  Well, the dentist will check the shape of your baby’s mouth, her teeth and gums, but also look for signs of damage caused by thumb sucking, decide if your tot might need fluoride supplementation earlier than age two, and then he’ll set a schedule for regular dental care and visits.  Starting healthy habits early will help protect her teeth for a lifetime.

Healthy teeth – one, two or a mouthful

Friday, February 27th, 2009

baby-teethI’m just squeaking this in on time!  February is National Children’s Dental Health Month.   But any month is a good time to begin to teach your children the importance of taking care of their teeth. The American Dental Association  sponsors National Children’s Dental Health Month to promote the importance of good oral health beginning at a young age.  They have good info on their site as well as fun activity sheets for kids.

As tots, get your little ones used to a regular routine of cleaning their teeth.  It’s easiest to start when they are small with a couple of teeth.  Even if they just chew on the toothbrush, they will be starting a good habit which you can perfect over time.

It’s up to us at home to make sure our kids are brushing, flossing and having regular checkups. When my kids were young, I swore I wasn’t going to give them sugary drinks and junk food, only healthy stuff – so I gave them raisins.  Not such a great idea, unless they brush well right after eating them.  Those sticky little things are loaded with sugar!  Check out some healthy snacks.    Regular visits with the dentist can help you prevent problems in the future. Treatments like fluoride, sealants or even braces can help keep your kid’s teeth healthy and strong.