Is Dental Care Safe While Pregnant?
The list of dos and don’ts while pregnant can be long and overwhelming for expecting women, with the don’ts often outweighing the dos. It is very common for expecting moms to have questions about healthcare including dental care and procedures. Routine medical and dental care is important for both the health of the mom and the baby. Keep reading for our simple list of dos and don’ts for dental care while pregnant
Do Continue Routine Dental Care
While pregnant, it is imperative that dental work continues as the rise in hormones can cause swelling and bleeding in the gums leading to irritation. Preventative dental work during pregnancy helps expecting mothers avoid gum disease and oral infections, both of which have been linked to preterm births. In an effort to keep expecting mothers comfortable, it is recommended that dental work be done in the first and second trimesters, as it may become uncomfortable to lie on your back for extended periods of time during the third trimester.
Don’t Be Afraid of Dental X-Rays
When it comes to x-rays, you might have been told that having an x-ray while pregnant poses a threat to your baby. While this may be true in some cases, x-rays are generally safe during pregnancy and dental x-rays are widely considered one of the safest x-rays for pregnant women. Dental x-rays pose very little threat to a developing fetus, particularly because of the location. There is hardly any exposure to any part of the body besides the mother’s teeth.
Do Tell Your Dentist About New Dental Symptoms or Problems
Although you may have no new dental symptoms or issues throughout your pregnancy, it is possible for pregnancy to make existing conditions worse or create new issues. As previously mentioned, the hormonal changes during pregnancy can lead to inflamed gums. Some dentists might suggest more frequent cleanings to help reduce swelling and plaque build-up during pregnancy. In extreme situations, overgrowth of tissue can appear on gums, most often in the second trimester. While they typically disappear after child birth, they can be removed by your dentist if they are causing discomfort.
Don’t Change Your At-Home Dental Routine
Pregnancy comes with an onslaught of changes to expecting mothers’ day-to-day lives, so it is even more important that your daily dental care remains the same. Morning sickness can make morning brushing more difficult, can lead to excess bacteria in the gums, and acid from throwing up can be damaging to enamel. Increased and varied cravings can also lead to cavities and tooth decay. Changes in your hormones can lead to cravings for sugary snacks and carbohydrates, so make sure you are flossing and brushing at least twice a day.
The bottom line is that dental care while pregnant is not only safe but important for the health of mom and baby. Routine cleanings and proper dental care at home paired with eating healthy and drinking lots of water will help your pregnancy run smoothly. At Snow Family Dentistry, we see patients from all walks of life, including expectant mothers, so schedule a consultation