3 Reasons You Need A Dental Checkup Before Trying to Conceive
Special Guest Post: Dr. Amanda Tavoularis (dentably.com)
Starting a family is one of the most exciting moments in anyone’s life. There is something so special about bringing a new life into this world and you and your partner are probably taking all the necessary steps to prepare for conceiving a child. However, something that is often overlooked in this process is dental care.
You and your partner’s dental health can play a big role in fertility, especially if you are suffering from gum disease. That’s why it’s so important to have a dental checkup before you start trying to conceive. I have been practicing dentistry for more than 20 years and have helped many couples with their dental health so that they can be as healthy as possible when they begin trying to conceive a child. Here are three things that you need to remember about your dental health before trying to conceive.
- Dental Issues Need to Be Addressed
One of the main reasons for visiting your dentist before trying to conceive is so that they can uncover any dental issues you or your partner might have. Crowns, fillings and most dental work can safely be completed during your pregnancy, but it’s best if you can get them done before conception to avoid any complications. If you do need dental work during your pregnancy, it’s best to wait until your second trimester. If it is not a pressing dental emergency, most dental work will be postponed until after you give birth.
Also, if you or your partner suffers from gum disease it can affect your chances of becoming pregnant. It can take women seven months or longer to conceive if they have gum disease compared to five months for women who do not. Similarly, men with poor oral health are more likely to face male factor infertility due to the elevated levels of bacteria in their mouth. If you can have a deep cleaning and treatment completed before trying to become pregnant you can raise your chances of conceiving and be healthier for your pregnancy.
- Get Dental X-Rays Before TTC
The second reason that it’s important to visit your dentist before trying to become pregnant is dental x-rays. Dental x-rays are taken to make sure that the structure of your mouth is good and that you don’t have any serious dental issues. These are typically part of your twice a year dental checkup. However, you should try to schedule any upcoming dental x-rays before you become pregnant. While the radiation exposure from an x-ray at the dental office is extremely low, it’s best to avoid exposing them to your baby at all costs. I recommend this to all women trying to conceive as it is better for you and your baby’s safety.
- Pregnancy Hormones Can Make Oral Health Problems Worse
Pregnancy causes your hormones to change tremendously, and in turn, can affect your oral health. Pregnancy hormones make you more vulnerable to mouth bacteria and decay and raise your chances of developing pregnancy tumors and pregnancy gingivitis. This is serious because if left untreated, gingivitis can cause preterm birth and low birth weight which again, is why it’s better to deal with these issues before becoming pregnant.
One way to work to prevent gingivitis before, during, and after pregnancy is by having an effective oral care routine. Your routine should consist of brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and rinsing with an antimicrobial mouthwash. Also, your diet will be helpful in maintaining a healthy mouth. Stay away from sugary drinks and snacks and focus on incorporating vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, and dairy into your diet to help protect your teeth.
Bringing a new life into this world is a beautiful thing that you will cherish forever. As you begin your journey towards conceiving a child, it’s important that you and your partner are as healthy as possible and this includes you and your partner’s dental health. Oral health can play a major role when it comes to conceiving a child. Be sure both of you receive a dental checkup before you conceive to uncover any issues and resolve them in a timely manner so that you can have the healthiest mouth before your baby comes along and help yourself prepare for parenthood.