Is It Safe to Go to the Dentist While Pregnant?
Routine oral care and specialty dental procedures are safe during pregnancy. Good dental hygiene helps keep you and your baby healthy.
Pregnancy is a time for many healthcare visits. While it’s tempting to skip the dentist, that’s one appointment you shouldn’t put off.
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Why? “Pregnancy puts you at risk for dental problems, so it’s important to continue getting oral care,” says Ob/Gyn Julian Peskin, MD.
In this Q&A, he answers some common questions about pregnancy and oral health.
A. As most pregnant women realize, pregnancy ramps up hormones. And that increased hormone load can cause your gums to swell. Swollen gums can trap food and result in gum disease or infection.
The other hormone-driven concern is morning sickness. When you vomit, the acid that comes up from the stomach can eat away at tooth enamel. Morning sickness can also make you less likely to brush your teeth, because the gag reflex and nausea are so strong. Without proper dental hygiene, your oral health is in jeopardy.
A. Severe periodontal disease can result in potential complications to your pregnancy. Many studies link periodontal disease to:
We believe that gum disease results in bacteria getting into your bloodstream and causing an inflammatory response in the body. Proper dental care can stop this process from starting.
A. The benefits of seeing a dentist far outweigh the risks. If you need:
A. Some procedures can’t wait, like treatment for an abscess. And the good news is, you don’t have to wait. It’s perfectly fine to have gum surgery or other major dental work performed during pregnancy.
Just alert your dentist so they can choose an antibiotic that is safe during pregnancy. Dentists will avoid prescribing tetracycline, which can stain your fetus’s teeth.
A. The keys to good oral health are the same whether or not you’re pregnant. Brush twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste and continue to floss. You can also use a fluoridated mouthwash that doesn’t contain alcohol.
If you experience vomiting during pregnancy, protect your teeth by rinsing with a solution of water plus one teaspoon of baking soda. And if morning sickness makes you want to retch when brushing, ask your dentist for a bland-tasting toothpaste.
A. Continue to see your dentist for routine care every six months. Plus, eat a healthy, balanced diet that includes these vitamins and minerals:
Start your baby’s oral hygiene now! A baby’s first teeth begin to develop about three months into your pregnancy. Diets containing dairy products, such as cheese and yogurt, provide essential minerals and are good for your baby’s developing teeth, gums and bones.