When a woman becomes pregnant, she has a lot on her mind. She is getting ready for her new role as parent. At the same time, she’s dealing with the hormones, exhaustion, and discomfort of pregnancy, and worrying about the delivery process.
So, it’s understandable that the last thing on her mind might be that regular dental cleaning. But in fact, this is one of the times in life when keeping up with dental care is most essential. Dentistry during pregnancy should be a primary concern for expecting mamas.
Why Is Dentistry During Pregnancy So Important?
Let’s look to the American Pregnancy Association for the answer: “The rise in hormone levels during pregnancy causes the gums to swell, bleed, and trap food causing irritation to your gums. Preventive dental work while pregnant is essential to avoid oral infections such as gum disease, which has been linked to preterm birth.”
Now, we know that last part is alarming. We also know that, as a dentist, you are aware of the need to attend to dentistry during pregnancy. But outlining the above points clearly for your patients is key. A surprising number of women aren’t aware of this risk. Unfortunately, OBGYNs don’t seem to have a habit of warning and clarifying on this issue.
So, it’s up to you!
How Your Practice Can Assist Pregnant Patients
While it isn’t necessarily a standard practice everywhere, it is becoming more common for women to attend dental cleanings multiple times during one pregnancy. As Westend Dental mentions in an article on the topic, “Most dentists agree that an extra dental cleaning during pregnancy is a good precaution against pregnancy gingivitis.”
When we talk about how you can assist your pregnant patients, the first and most obvious way is to work them in for an extra cleaning appointment. But there are other above-and-beyond ways you can improve dentistry during pregnancy for your patients.
First, create a plan for educating patients about the need for additional dental attention during pregnancy. Here is our best advice on how to approach this:
Work with a local OBGYN or two to provide dentistry insights. You could ask them to help educate their patients on the issue, refer you, and leave brochures about dentistry during pregnancy in the waiting room.
Speaking of brochures, consider producing educational materials on dentistry during pregnancy that include your practice’s logo. This is great advertising for you and helps your patients become aware of the need for extra oral hygiene attention. These pamphlets can be made available in your waiting room, their OBGYN’s waiting room, or both.
Launch a social media campaign that explains the need for dentistry during pregnancy in bite-size tidbits. The timing of these campaigns could be around Mother’s Day or even back-to-school season for parents who want to continue growing their families.
Financial Planning for Pregnancy and Beyond
Another way that you can help expecting mamas and their families is by giving them options for managing the financial side of pregnancy and family health. Enter, dental membership plans!
Since they will be coming in for an additional cleaning or two, pregnant patients will have to consider how these additional visits will impact their health care budget. Not only that, but in the next year or so, they will have an additional child to bring for dentist visits. Whether they already have other children who come to your practice or not, this new addition might have them rethinking the financial aspect.
For all of these reasons, pregnant patients make great candidates for dental membership.
If you don’t already have a plan established, consider making one. Here are a few resources that might interest you:
- How Dental Membership Plans Create a Better Patient Experience
- Why Dental Membership Plans Encourage Early Childhood Visits
- Advice for Every Stage in the Dental Membership Plan Process
- How to Price Your Dental Membership Plan
- How Should I Market My Membership Plan?
- Dental Membership Plan Services: What Treatments Should Your Plan Include?
If you do already have a dental membership plan, consider how you can uniquely market that plan to your pregnant patients. Create a blog post outlining the benefits for when they are pregnant and for the pediatric visits their new children will start needing. You could also incorporate this information into a brochure or a small sign for the checkout desk, waiting area, or treatment rooms. The possibilities abound!
If you live in an area where families are a large part of your demographic, you might want to consider a family special for your membership plan. This could be a version of the plan that is slightly more expensive per person for adults, but provides a discounted rate for cleanings during pregnancy and a child’s first few cleanings.
Again, there are many ways to do this, but this plan will open doors to land more members, and thus, more subscription-based payments. Cash flow is king! And of course, you’re also helping those mamas and their babies maintain better oral hygiene and overall health.
Dentistry During Pregnancy is a Good Policy
Optimum dental health is an ideal goal for expecting mamas to aim for, and is likely already standard procedure for your practice! By educating patients thoroughly and offering relevant accommodations, you can help pregnant women take better care of themselves and give their babies the best possible start.
A heightened focus on dentistry during pregnancy is undeniably a win for all involved.