This blog series will feature Q & A's with our hygienists. Proper home care, regular dental visits and education are the cornerstones of healthy smiles. Hopefully, the insight from our hygiene team (Heather, Kelly and Michelle) will provide you some helpful tips.
Q. What prevailing myth would you want to dispel concerning oral hygiene/teeth?
Michelle: Many patients believe that pregnancy contributes to tooth decay.
Heather: I agree, many patients share this common misconception. In fact, pregnant mothers often avoid the dentist during pregnancy when this is actually an important time to maintain good oral health due to the systemic effects poor oral hygiene can have on the mother and baby.
Studies have proven that expectant mothers with poor oral hygiene are 7 times more likely to deliver premature and low birth weight babies.
Kelly: Also, it is easy for many expectant mothers to neglect proper home care due to morning sickness. Not only are they leaving bacteria, plaque, and food debris on their teeth, but acid from the stomach as well. When they get sick, the acid can cause erosion when left on the tooth surface.
All of this an ideal environment for the bacteria to cause decay and pregnancy gingivitis. It is imperative for expectant mothers to be meticulous with their home care and dental check ups. Some insurance companies are now paying for an extra cleaning during pregnancy to help keep oral health in check.