I know it may be a bit early but it seems that spring might be in the air! I have been noticing that this time of year seems to correlate with an increase in pregnancies with our patients. Congratulations to all of you who are expecting! You may have some questions about your oral health while you or your partner are pregnant. So, in no particular order, here are some questions we commonly get asked in the office:

Q): My gums are bleeding more than usual. Is this normal?

A): It can be normal. A little bit of extra bleeding sometimes occurs because of changes in hormones or an increase in sensitivity to oral bacteria levels. A drastic increase in bleeding should not be considered normal and if you have any thoughts of needing the Red Cross, please phone the office and come in to see us!

Q): I am way too nauseous to brush. Brushing is also making me gag. What do I do about this?

 A): Try to do your best while feeling nauseous. It is still important to maintain good oral health even if you do not feel well enough to brush your teeth. If you have been vomiting, please rinse your mouth with water to dilute the stomach acid before brushing your teeth. The acid from our stomachs is strong enough to dissolve tooth enamel and if you pop your brush in after you’ve been sick you can brush away microns of enamel. Now I know microns are very small, but you will do less damage to your teeth if you have some water and wait for about half an hour before you brush. Try to brush gently and slowly and focus on breathing evenly in and out through your nose. If you are finding that you are prone to gagging, flossing and brushing at night may be more comfortable because you are less likely to gag at the end of the day (compared to first thing in the morning!)

Q): When do I start brushing my baby’s teeth?

A): As soon as they have them! We also encourage you to start practicing mouth care with your baby before they even have teeth. Use a soft cloth with some warm water and gently wipe out baby’s mouth after the last feeding of the day. This helps get them used to something in their mouth that is not food. Once little teeth begin to erupt, you can switch to a soft child sized brush.

Q): When do I bring them in to see the dentist?

A): We would like to see them in our practice as soon as they have those first primary teeth begin to erupt. Again, at this stage it may be more about practising coming to the dentist and we are interested in making sure that everything is healthy. Sometimes first visits in our office only involve sitting on a parents lap in “the big chair”. Other times they are a full check-up. The Dentist at 70 Pitt street is committed to developing a healthy relationship with you and your family. We want to make sure that there are no “scary childhood visits” to the dentist!

For more information, have a look at the ADA web site under the link for “Lets Talk Baby Teeth”, or click on the link below:

http://www.babyteeth.com.au/oral-health/introduction.html