Congratulations! You’ve just found out that you’re going to be a mother, and like any and all new parents, your mind is immediately filled with a thousand questions. To help make this joyful (if stressful) time a little easier, a dentist is here to answer the most common dental-related pregnancy questions. Read on to learn everything you need to know about taking care of your smile while expecting!
Is getting dental work while pregnant safe?
When it comes to preventive dental cleanings and regular exams during pregnancy, they are not only safe, but highly recommended! The change in hormone levels brought on by pregnancy can make a woman more likely to develop gum disease, which has been linked to low-birthweight and other complications. After you’re done informing your loved ones about your new family member, your next call should be to your dentist so they can help put together an oral healthcare plan for you.
Are dental X-rays safe during pregnancy?
Most of the time, routine dental X-rays can be postponed until after birth, but if they are absolutely necessary, new parents shouldn’t worry. According to the American College of Radiology, “No single diagnostic X-ray has a radiation dose significant enough to cause adverse effects in a developing embryo or fetus.”
When is the best time to get routine dental work during pregnancy?
If an expecting mother needs something more than a checkup and cleaning, such as a filling or crown, the best time to get dental work done during pregnancy is ideally the second trimester. Once a woman is in the third trimester, they will likely have difficulty laying on their back for an extended amount of time. In most cases, the best course of action is simply to postpone all unnecessary dental work until after birth.
Is dental anesthesia safe during pregnancy?
The research on this subject is currently inconclusive, but Lidocaine, the most commonly used anesthetic during dental work, has been shown to NOT cross the placenta after administration. If a pregnant woman requires anesthesia for a procedure, the least amount needed to make them feel comfortable should be used.
Should my oral homecare change during pregnancy?
Pregnant women are much more vulnerable to developing gum disease, which is commonly referred to as “pregnancy gingivitis,” but this can easily be avoided by regularly brushing and flossing as well as making regular visits to the dentist. As far as what you do at home, just be sure to brush at least twice a day for two minutes each, floss once, and rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash. Your dentist will let you know if you need to do anything extra.
Pregnancy is an amazing and one-of-a-kind journey, and by keeping up with your healthy habits at home and staying in contact with your dentist, you can make sure you have a gorgeous smile ready to welcome your baby to the world.
About the Author
Dr. Masha Kogan is a general, restorative, and cosmetic dentist who has been practicing in Westport for over 18 years. As a mother of two herself, she understands better than anyone the unique oral health needs of expecting mothers. If you have any other questions about how to take care of your smile during this exciting time, she’s always happy to talk to you, and you can contact her through her website.