Moms-To-Be: Take Care!

Let’s not forget that mothers-to-be are mothers as well! Right in time for Mother’s Day, Dr. Dominique Lizzio, DDS speaks to expectant moms about caring for their own oral health.

Of All The Things You Have Given Up While You Are Pregnant, Don’t Let Visiting The Dentist Be One Of Them

Although, you have given up sushi, caffeine and the occasional glass of wine, daily routines don’t come to a halt for 9 months. Daily brushing, flossing and regular dental visits are still very important. Questions around proper care for your teeth and gums during this critical time are common. Here are some frequently asked questions about taking care of your teeth during pregnancy for all of those mothers- to-be out there.

What is the best thing I can do to avoid a problem with my teeth during pregnancy?

The old wives’ tale, “A tooth lost for every child”, may seem extreme, but it does have some validity. If you are planning to become pregnant, make sure you visit your dentist for an examination and have your teeth cleaned. Preventing potential dental problems from occurring during pregnancy is the best thing you can do. Take care of any decayed or cracked teeth and those impacted wisdom teeth you have been ignoring… well, this is the time to make sure everything is looking good!

Is it normal for my gums to bleed?

Hormonal changes during pregnancy affect your teeth and gums just as they do other tissues in your body. Bleeding gums increase beginning in the second or third month. This becomes more severe through the eighth month and then begins to diminish in the ninth month. This condition, called “pregnancy gingivitis,” is caused by an increased progesterone secretion which causes gum tissue to increasingly swell, bleed and redden in response to a very small amount of plaque. If your gums are healthy before pregnancy, you are less likely to have this problem. If you see some “pink in the sink” when you rinse the let the dentist know so that they can determine the best treatment.

Can I have my teeth cleaned while I am pregnant?

There is no risk of having routine dental care while you are pregnant.  It is ideal to have your teeth cleaned every 6 months, or more frequently if you have a history of periodontal disease or gingivitis.

What if I get a toothache?

If you are having pain, it needs to be treated no matter what stage of pregnancy you are in. The risk of infection from an untreated dental problem is far worse for you and your baby, than the procedure itself. X-rays may be important to have in order to diagnose the problem. Since most dentists are using digital x-rays, they are safe especially when used with an abdominal shield and thyroid collar for added protection. Certain local anesthetics are safe to use in order keep you comfortable during your care. Also, certain types of antibiotics can be prescribed that will not be harmful to your baby.

Are there any dental procedures I should avoid?

Non-emergency procedures can be performed, but the best time is from the fourth through sixth month. Elective and cosmetic procedures should be postponed until after the baby is born.

Happy Mother’s Day to ALL the moms!

Dr Lizzio practices and resides in Garden City with her family. Her office is located at 901 Stewart Ave. 516-747-2400. You can visit her Facebook page by clicking here and the office website by clicking here

If you have a question for Dr. Lizzio, please email it to

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