While many people already know that it is important to visit the dentist twice a year for a professional cleaning and dental exam, not everyone knows that many dentists check for more than just cavities and gum disease. In addition to examining the teeth and gums, it has become standard for dentists to inspect the…
Dental Care During Pregnancy: The Most Important Things to Know
Dental care during pregnancy can be scary for mothers that are expecting, but need not worry. It is still important to maintain good oral hygiene even when carrying a baby. Taking preventative measures in order to maintain good dental health while pregnant is absolutely necessary because if an expecting mother were to have an infection or disease in the mouth, while pregnant, it could lead to affecting the baby.
Dental Care During Pregnancy
Understanding and knowing what things to be aware of (dental-wise) and to look out for during pregnancy is key in maintaining a healthy pregnancy and a healthy oral hygiene. Below are the most important things to know.
The most important things to know
The best trimester for dental care:
While it is vital to still visit the dentist during pregnancy, it is recommended to visit and have any procedures done during the first or second trimester. The first two trimesters are the easiest on the mother, and having any serious dental work done should be completed during the beginning of the pregnancy to avoid discomfort or harm to the baby. While the mother can visit the dentist during the third trimester, for emergent situations only, it is advised to visit regularly during the first two trimesters to avoid any problems arising during the third.
Checkups and general work are not harmful:
Many people believe that having a mother at the dentist during anytime of the pregnancy can be dangerous, but that is not the case. Mothers are expected and advised to visit the dentist regularly in order to prevent any infections or diseases from arising before the baby arrives. General work such as cavity fillings or crowns are safe and recommended to ensure that no infections are formed. Cosmetic work such as whitening or veneers are recommended to be postponed until after the pregnancy to avoid having the mother and baby exposed to such chemicals. Regular check ups are advised throughout the pregnancy, but putting a halt to them once the third trimester comes.
Most dentist offices will perform routine x-rays on patients to check all aspects of the teeth and gums. Typically, mothers are hesitant to doing so during pregnancy because of the exposure to radiation. However, it has been said that dental x-rays don’t release enough radiation to harm the baby. Mothers that don’t absolutely need x-rays are advised to postpone them until after the baby is born. If there is an emergent situation regarding the oral health, then it may be suggested to have the x-rays with the necessary protection from the radiation.
Some extensive dental procedures do require that medication be administered before or after the procedure. While most medications are safe to take, there are a few that are strongly prohibited in hopes of protecting the mother and the baby. Lidocaine is the most common medication used among dentists, it is advised not to be used on mothers that are expecting. Anesthesia is also common in more advanced procedures, it is said that a small dosage of it is safe for the baby. However, most recommended waiting until after the pregnancy is over for any procedures requiring medications, it is a safer bet.
Expecting mothers still have to maintain good oral hygiene. Knowing what is and isn’t safe for the baby can be a huge help to those mothers. Dental professionals won’t do anything to harm the baby, but it’s always good to be aware of the most important aspects of dental care during pregnancy.
If you’re still unsure about dental care while expecting then feel free to give us a call today. We’re always happy to help answer questions or concerns.