Can I go to the dentist when I'm pregnant?
Oral health is an important part of your general health and should be maintained throughout your pregnancy. Oral health can affect your baby. Gum diseases have been linked to preterm birth. Pregnant women are prone to some oral conditions due to various hormonal changes in the body. Hence preventive dental work is recommended during pregnancy to avoid infections.
Some of the common problems encountered during pregnancy are -
Gingivitis - This is due to hormonal changes during pregnancy which result in inflammation of the gums. Inflamed and swollen gums are prone to infection.
Tooth erosion - If you have excess vomiting during pregnancy the exposure of teeth to acid of the stomach can cause tooth erosions. Rinsing your mouth with a baking soda solution (a teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in a cup of water) may help neutralize the acid.
Below are some things that need to be addressed related to dental work during pregnancy:
- Prevention, diagnosis and treatment of oral conditions should not be deferred because of pregnancy.
- Be sure to tell your dentist that you are pregnant.
- Do preventive dental work and cleanings to avoid infections.
- Avoid unnecessary dental work. Postpone them until second trimester or better, after delivery.
- Elective procedures like teeth whitening and other cosmetics procedures should be postponed until after delivery.
- Antibiotics are occasionally used after dental procedures. Ensure you use antibiotics that are safe in pregnancy.
- X-rays are required in certain dental procedures. Advances in medical care have made safe x-rays possible.Your dentist will take precautions to safeguard your baby (ie. shielding of the abdomen and thyroid)
In order to maintain good oral health during pregnancy limit the intake of sugary foods and drinks, brush twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste, floss twice daily, and make dental visits twice a year.
This article is written to be informative and does not substitute seeking a professional consultation from a medical professional.