Pregnancy and Going to the Dentist

Keeping up with your dental checkup during pregnancy is safe and important for your dental health. Not only should you take care of cleanings and other procedures during your pregnancy, but your dentist can help you with any pregnancy-related dental issues you might be experiencing.

Some Common Concerns

When Should I Tell My Dentist That I’m Pregnant?

• Even if you only think you might be pregnant, let your dentist know.

• Tell them how far along you are when making your appointment.

• Let your dentist know about any medications you are taking, both prescription and over-the-counter.

• Your dentist should know if your physician has provided you with any special advice regarding dentistry.

• According to the National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center, healthy women with uncomplicated pregnancies can safely receive most oral health services throughout pregnancy without a consultation
(medical clearance) from their obstetric physician. A medical clearance, however, may be required for more complicated procedures. Your dentist will inform you if this is necessary.

• Is your pregnancy high-risk or do you have certain medical conditions? If so, your dentist and your physician may recommend that some treatments be postponed.

Can I Have a Local Anesthetic During Pregnancy?

You’re pregnant and need a filling, root canal or tooth pulled. You don’t have to be concerned about the safety of the numbing medications your dentist may use during your procedure. They are, in fact, clinically proven safe for both you and your baby. Case in point: A study in the August 2015 issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association followed a group of pregnant women who had procedures that used anesthetics like lidocaine shots and a group that did not. The study showed these treatments were safe during pregnancy. “Our study identified no evidence to show that dental treatment with anesthetics is harmful during pregnancy,” said the study author. “We aimed to determine if there was a significant risk associated with dental treatment with anesthesia and pregnancy outcomes. We did not find any such risk.” Should I Have Dental X-Rays During Pregnancy? Yes, it’s safe to get an X-ray during pregnancy. While dental X-rays do involve radiation, the exposed levels are so low that they’re considered safe for pregnant women. Stellar Dental Care uses state-of-the-art digital X-rays instead of the old method of developing them on film, so your risk from radiation exposure is minimal. Because you are, or may be, pregnant, Stellar Dental will offer additional protective shielding before taking any X-rays. What About Dental Care After the Baby is Born? After childbirth, continuing your own dental care, along with your baby’s, is very important. Continue brushing and flossing regularly and purchase an infant toothbrush and infant toothpaste for your baby to keep gums and budding teeth healthy. Start your baby off on a lifetime of good dental health with a first dentist appointment at six months, or, when the first tooth comes in. Your dentist will check for tongue-tie and other oral issues that might delay speech and other functions. It’s true… good dental health is key to overall wellness, and pregnancy is an optimal time to establish healthy habits.

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