Expectant mothers, especially first-timers tend to worry about everything from the food that they eat and the activities that are still safe for them to do during this period of development. A common concern of expectant mothers is whether or not they are still able to go to the dentist. Let’s find out.
Truthfully, going to the dentist while pregnant is not only safe, but also highly recommended. With the surge of hormones and blood levels, your gums bleed more often and swell which can trap food and cause cavities and gum irritation. Therefore, keeping up with your bi-annual cleanings is very important, especially since there is a link between gum disease and preterm birth stats.
As far as other dental work being done such as cavities, crowns, fillings, etc, these are all safe during pregnancy as well, though it may be wise to take care of these things before the third trimester as it is not recommended for women to be on their backs for extended periods of time during the last few weeks. If the dental work is not urgent, seeking care for minor things is recommended to be done after giving birth.
In terms of medications that are used during and after dental procedures, there are conflicting ideas about the use of lidocaine and whether or not it has any adverse effect on the developing fetus which is why if you can hold off on any procedure that involves anesthesia, you should do it.
The antibiotics that are prescribed afterward though are deemed completely safe and will have no effect, large or small, on your baby.
The big question that gets asked is the use of x-rays in dental work and whether or not the routine procedure is deemed safe during pregnancy. X-rays in a lot of cases are needed when diagnosing certain ailments, and also to track your dental health progress so it’s a valid concern seeing as how common they are.
The answer to the concern is yes, x-rays are safe. The amount of radiation that is emitted from a single x-ray is not enough to cause any sort of adverse effect on the developing fetus. Of course, safety nets are put in place no matter whether you’re pregnant or not. Shields and blankets can be placed over your belly to limit the amount of radiation, even though none will actually penetrate through. As mentioned above, the only safety reason so put off having major dental work during pregnancy is the prolonged lying on your back which can cut off blood flow to the baby in the third trimester.
Some general tips for pregnant women and their dental concerns:
- Brush your teeth twice a day
- Floss daily
- Go to all bi-annual exams and cleanings
- Inform your dentist of your pregnancy
- Leave non-emergency procedures until after the pregnancy
For further questions and inquiries, contact Newbury Smiles today by calling +1 805-499-3691, or by visiting our website at newburysmiles.com/contact.