It’s an old fable that going to the dentist while pregnant puts a developing baby and expecting mother at risk of complications. But is there any truth to this old wives’ tale?
Why is Dentistry Important During Pregnancy?
If you’re pregnant or are conceiving, maintaining proper oral hygiene as part of a healthy lifestyle is an essential factor in overall health for you and your unborn child. There are a few key reasons, mainly because the mouth is a significant entry point to the digestive system and blood vessels into the body. Therefore, oral health can be a powerful indicator of overall health. This provides some insights into the progress and health of your pregnancy.
Certain medications and hormonal changes in the body can increase the risk of dry mouth and periodontal disease while pregnant. Dentists recommend that pregnant women maintain their current oral hygiene routine by brushing and flossing twice daily at a minimum. Women often experience nausea and vomiting during pregnancy and have varying cravings for specific types of food, including candy. By brushing and flossing twice a day, expecting mothers can reduce the risk of gum erosion related to stomach acids or sugar foods.
What if I need an Oral X-Ray, is My Baby Safe?
Modern radiography technology has advanced enough to make radiation concerns nearly negligible today. Dentists often use X-rays to diagnose the state of the internal jawbone, teeth roots, enamel, and teeth structures they can’t see externally, typically once a year. Considering that skipping dental x-rays can allow more severe and painful oral problems to develop, you should not be missing recommended dental x-rays. However, be sure you tell your dentist and dental hygienists if you are pregnant so they can provide a particular protective garment for the pelvis and abdomen area.
What about Medications for Oral Pain or Infection Prevention?
You should consult your primary doctors as well as your dentist if you need a prescription. Not all medications are safe for a developing fetus, so having this discussion is important the moment you find out you are pregnant. Amoxicillin and Penicillin are recommended safe choices for pregnant women.
For pain, acetaminophen is used in combination with a narcotic pain reliever is ok. Only your doctor can prescribe medications like this, and be sure you follow the dosing guidelines as some of these pose risks for overdose to the mother and child if abused. Any medication prescribed with an opioid painkiller should be on a short-term basis. Your doctor should not prescribe a 30-day supply as this creates a risk of dependence. Instead, a short-term supply of narcotic pain relievers should be prescribed, followed by a transition to OTC pain relievers like ibuprofen.
Tell Your Dentist You Are Pregnant and Don’t Skip Visits
The main takeaway is that visiting the dentist while pregnant is safe and essential to help maintain overall health & well-being. If you have no oral complications like pain or cavities, you may only see the dentist once during pregnancy on your regular dental visit schedule. Keep the conversation open as to medications your dentist is considering. You and your dentist may decide it is best to wait until after birth to undergo procedures that require local anesthetic. Just be sure you have an open dialogue, and rest assured your oral health will not suffer and your baby is safe when you visit the dentist.
For the Best Dentist 11224, look no further than right here at Coney Island Dental. We have proudly served the neighborhood for over 40 years, give us a call and schedule your appointment today.