If you're trying for a baby, it's a good idea to schedule a dental visit before you get pregnant, telling your dentist about your baby plans. This allows your dentist to make sure that your teeth and gums are healthy and ready for pregnancy. You may also find it easier to have any existing problems fixed now, rather than when you're pregnant.
Get Treatments Out of the Way
A pre-pregnancy check-up helps make sure that your general oral health is good; it may also help you find out how you can make it better. During pregnancy, changes in your hormones may affect your teeth and gums, and you may have fewer problems if you start looking after your mouth correctly before you get pregnant.
You may also want to get any non-urgent treatments out of the way before your pregnancy. Sitting in the dentist's chair may be the last thing you want to do when you're battling morning sickness or feeling heavy and uncomfortable. Plus, if you don't treat an existing problem, and it gets worse after you become pregnant, you may have limited treatment options. Dentists have to consider the wellbeing of your baby, as well as your oral health, and may defer some treatments. For example, according to WebMD, dentists typically won't do X-rays on you during pregnancy unless it is an emergency.
Protect Your Baby Against Bacteria
During your visit, your dentist will pay close attention to the health of your gums, as well as your teeth. If you have any signs of gum disease, your dentist is likely to recommend that you have them treated before you get pregnant. It's not just important to keep your own mouth free from bacteria; problems with your gums may also impact the health of your baby.
Pregnancy hormones may make minor gum issues worse. According to the Better Health Channel, some of the bacteria that a baby is exposed to in the womb may come from your mouth. Chronic gum disease in mothers has been linked with a higher incidence of premature births, potentially affecting 18 out of every 100 births. Making sure that your gums are healthy makes sense for your health and that of your baby.
Tip: Even if you get existing problems fixed before you get pregnant, it's important to continue having check-ups during pregnancy, as directed by your dentist, in case your oral health changes.