While pregnancy is an exciting time, it can also be a time of information overload and confusion. There are so many do’s and don’ts that go along with being pregnant.
Luckily, when it comes to your oral health, there are just a few simple things to remember:
1. Tell your dentist.
Routine dental visits are generally safe and beneficial during your pregnancy. Just make sure to let your dentist know your due date, if you have any changes in your health, and what medications you are taking.
Get Dr. B’s Dental Health Tips
Free weekly dental health advice in your inbox, plus 10 Insider Secrets to Dental Care as a free download when you sign up
2. Proceed cautiously with x-rays.
If you see a dentist regularly, x-rays can generally be postponed until your baby is born. However, if x-rays are needed for diagnosing problems, your dentist should use a lead apron with a collar to minimize exposure to your abdomen area and thyroid.
3. Your second trimester is the best time for routine dental procedures.
At this point, fetal organ development is complete, nausea and vomiting may be reduced, and you can still lie comfortably on your back. Emergency procedures may be performed with special consideration throughout your pregnancy to prevent infection and pain. However, elective procedures and major dental surgeries should be postponed until after your baby is born.
4. If you need a dental procedure while pregnant…
Ask your dentist if the procedure can wait until the second trimester or after your baby is born. Keep in mind that the risks of not treating oral pain, swelling, or infection may outweigh the minimal risks associated with getting dental work while pregnant. Some medications, including local anesthetics, antibiotics, and pain medications can still be used safely during pregnancy.
5. Make sure you are comfortable.
If you find lying on your back uncomfortable, bring a pillow and ask for frequent breaks. Don’t forget to bring headphones with your favorite music. If the procedure will be long, ask your dentist if you can split it up into a few shorter appointments.
Got more questions about pregnancy and oral health? Ask me a question!Learn More: How Oral Health Impacts Your Pregnancy