Pregnancy is an exciting time in your life that brings about many changes to your body. Your oral health is affected as well. There are specific things to keep in mind during pregnancy related to your teeth, gums, and caring for them. Let’s talk about the things you should be thinking about for your mouth while expecting a baby.
Tell your dentist about any prescription or over-the-counter medicines you’re taking, so that it’ll be easier to prescribe any drugs needed for you during dental treatment. Your dentist may also want to consult your doctor to discuss safe painkiller or antibiotic options for you during pregnancy.
If you have a dental emergency or a problem that needs diagnosis, an X-ray may be required. Radiation exposure from dental X-rays is very low, but your dentist will cover you with a leaded apron to protect your abdomen. A leaded thyroid collar will also be used to protect your thyroid from radiation.
It’s not uncommon for some women to develop pregnancy gingivitis, which is a gum problem that occurs during the hormonal fluctuations of pregnancy. This condition is an inflammation of the gums that causes tenderness, swelling, and usually some bleeding during dental hygiene tasks. Your dentist may suggest more frequent cleanings during pregnancy to prevent gingivitis, because left untreated it can advance to more serious gum disease.
Some pregnant women experience overgrowths of tissue called pregnancy tumors, which appear on the gums mostly during the second trimester. They are not cancerous and are usually located between your teeth. Dentists believe they are related to having too much plaque. Pregnancy tumors bleed easily and appear red and raw. Usually they go away after the baby’s birth, but some women prefer to have them removed before then. Discuss options with your dentist to see what’s best for you.
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In today’s society where millions of people are active in sports, it should be no surprise that there are over seven million injuries related to sports and recreation every year in the age group of 5 to 24 alone. One way to cut down on injuries to the mouth and face is for participants to wear mouth guards. The group Moms for Mouth Guards is getting involved to promote safety.
The American Associate of Orthodontists (AAO) advises that team or recreational sports participants wear a mouth guard to protect their mouths and faces. AAO research shows that more than 67 percent of parents do not make their children wear mouth guards. Moms for Mouth Guards is on a mission to educate parents, players, and coaches about the effects of facial and jaw injuries. Wearing a mouth guard is a proven way to decrease the seriousness of injuries and impacts that they have on players.
Moms for Mouth Guards has joined the AAO in its efforts to encourage other mothers in supporting athlete safety by wearing mouth guards. The group’s website provides details about sports injuries, tips on selecting an orthodontist, and the Moms for Mouth Guards pledge. This pledge asks individuals to commit to ensuring their children wear appropriate athletic equipment, including mouth guards. For every signature on the pledge, Moms for Mouth Guards donates mouth guards to the National Alliance for Youth Sports. This non-profit group promotes safe, fun, and healthy sports for all children.
The AAO suggests choosing for a custom mouth guard over store-bought options for the best protection. A custom mouth guard is personalized to your child’s teeth after a mold is taken by an orthodontist. The models are sent to a dental lab so that a personalized mouth guard can be created. The orthodontist will then ensure that the appliance fits your child perfectly, and provide directions for proper usage and cleaning.
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