The health of both you and your child is an important part of your overall health. Pregnancy raises the possibility of some dental health complications becoming issues further down the road. When you are pregnant, knowing which procedures are safe and which should be avoided is important to your and your child’s well-being. Read further to get a detailed look at which procedures are safe.
The first step is continuing to undergo regular dental exams. Continuing to monitor the condition of your teeth is a vital step in prenatal care. The mouth is an entry point for several infections, and monitoring its condition is a generally understood key component of overall health; oral examinations are important. If you have any questions or concerns about the overall well-being of your dental health and pregnancy-related concerns, ask a dentist immediately.
What Other Ways Can My Pregnancy Affect My Dental Care?
The health of your mouth and surrounding hard and soft tissues are integral to your overall health while pregnant. It can’t be neglected as it is a key part of the prenatal care you’ll receive over your term. The hormonal transformation of pregnancy means continued monitoring is called for. The body of pregnant women will see an increase in certain hormones like progesterone and estrogen. These hormones elevate the risk of gum disease, cavities, and gingivitis. Cavity-causing bacteria can be passed from mother to child.
Your eating patterns may change. Due to cravings, you might eat foods you wouldn’t have otherwise eaten. These cravings might mean more brushing and flossing. At the same time, you might want to brush and floss your teeth less than you used to since your gum tissue can swell or become tender due to hormonal changes. You will also feel more tired than you otherwise would. Toothpaste or even the acts of brushing and flossing on their own may cause a wave of nausea. You can’t neglect to brush and floss, so ask your dentist for advice or treatment that can help you.
Are Dental X-rays Safe During Pregnancy?
By taking X-rays of the mouth, the dentist can locate problems with the teeth, gums, and jaw bones. Dental X-rays use minuscule quantities of radiation, and the examiner protects you with a striped blanket and scarf to shield you and your fetus. Just be sure to inform the dentist that you are pregnant ahead of time, and they will take extra precautions to be safe. The ADA says that getting an X-Ray while expecting isn’t an issue for anyone with shielding below the neck, which the dentist will do.
You can put off X-rays unrelated to an immediate procedure until after pregnancy, but they don’t necessarily have to be. Especially in the case of an emergency, an X-ray is a required step in the process. The governing body that oversees safety is called the American College of Radiology. They state that no one x-ray has enough of a radiological dose to cause harmful effects in a growing baby. While it’s understandable that some women want to delay X-rays as part of the procedure, it is a well-understood safe process that we have extensive long-term data about. There is no cause for concern.
What Procedures Should Be Avoided During Pregnancy?
Certain dental procedures fall into an elective category. Some of these, like veneers, whitening, and some smile makeovers, is best left until after the pregnancy. The procedure isn’t risky, but there is no need to stress the baby’s mother for an elective procedure that she can put off until a later day. It is best not to undergo elective dental work while pregnant to avoid subjecting the developing baby to any hazards, even if the risk is negligible. Of course, any non-emergency dental procedures that might come up during the third trimester are usually postponed until after the birth.
What about the medications?
Dentists will work to make the amount of anesthetic or anesthesia given the lowest dose possible to perform the procedure in full comfort. It’s important to keep stress to a minimum. Be honest when the dentist tests for numbing. Your comfort is directly related to the stress the procedure places on you, so honesty is crucial.
Antibiotics after a procedure may be necessary. Your dentist will discuss with you the safety measures that are in place and the dosage for medications such as penicillin and amoxicillin. Both of those are category B for safety during pregnancy. At your doctor’s discretion, they might be prescribed as part of recovery after dental work.
Final Tips if Visiting a Dental Office While Being Pregnant:
The ADA advises pregnant women to eat a sensible diet, brush their teeth carefully with approved fluoride toothpaste two times a day and floss daily.
- Continue to undergo routine exams throughout the length of your pregnancy.
- Be sure to tell your dentist you are pregnant.
- When possible, try to delay any non-essential dental work until after pregnancy.
- Elective and cosmetic work should be postponed.
- Crossing your legs in the dentist’s chair can improve circulation if you undergo a procedure.
- Bring a pillow if you think it may help increase your comfort level.
- Ask your dentist if you can bring calming music and wireless earbuds.