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|Posted on 15 December, 2015 at 10:45|
Yes, it’s a good idea to visit the dentist when you’re pregnant. This is because the hormones circulating in your body can affect your gums.
Your gums are more likely to bleed and there is a greater chance of them becoming inflamed or infected. Having a gum infection can lead to your teeth being damaged. You're also more likely to get a build-up of plaque on your teeth.
So try to make regular and thorough teeth cleaning part of your routine. Ask your dentist or dental hygienist about the best ways to clean your teeth and the best brushes and toothpastes to use.
If you have serious gum disease, it won't directly affect your baby's health. But it may mean your general health is not as good as it could be. Serious gum infections are called gingivitis or periodontal disease.
If you're finding it difficult to stay healthy, this can affect the way your baby grows. For this reason, some experts believe that there is a connection between gum disease and premature birth, low-birth-weight babies and other pregnancy complications.
NHS dental care is free from the time your pregnancy is confirmed right through to your child's first birthday. This means that you don't have to worry about the cost of any dental treatment you may need. To get this free care, you will need to apply for your maternity exemption certificate, so ask your doctor, midwife or health visitor for the right form.
Tell your dentist that you're pregnant so that if you need treatment, he can decide on the best type for you. Although there is no evidence that mercury amalgam fillings are a health risk, these are not recommended during pregnancy, just in case. Your dentist can suggest alternative fillings if you need them.
If you're not registered with a dentist, and you can't find a dentist who is willing to give you free NHS treatment, contact NHS England. It is obliged to provide you with a service for routine and emergency dental care. You can find out how to contact NHS England by looking at theirwebsite.