Dental Work During Pregnancy
If you or someone close to you is on a pregnancy journey, you’ll want to read this. First of all, “OMG, Congratulations!!!” We are so happy for you and want to help you learn more about getting dental work during pregnancy.
First thing’s first. Treating yourself like a queen is going to keep you and the baby in better shape all around. The whole crew here at BURST (which happens to include thousands of dental professionals) truly believes in prevention. According to the American Pregnancy Association, “Preventive dental work while pregnant is essential to avoid oral infections such as gum disease, which has been linked to preterm birth.” Great daily dental hygiene will reduce bacteria that live on and around the teeth and gums that cause disease. Keeping these germs in check will also prevent them from traveling through the bloodstream to other parts of the body including the umbilical and developing baby. It is really important to follow the ole’ 2 minutes of brushing twice per day rule with a once per day flossing session. During this especially dramatic time in one’s life, completing these simple tasks can be hard because changes in hormones and energy levels may keep you feeling distracted, tired or just focused on other things like, oh I don’t know…. HAVING A BABY. Even though you might usually NOT floss every day without a child in tow, making this a daily self care habit a priority while pregnant is the healthiest choice by far.
One of the most common dental misconceptions is that x-rays, anesthetic and dental procedures should be avoided altogether whilst preggos. Although it’s fine to err on the side of caution when it comes to elective or cosmetic procedures, the medical and dental communities agree that there is a higher risk with not taking care of cavities, inflammation and broken teeth. Of course, any type of pain in or around your mouth takes the highest priority. If dental work is done during pregnancy, the second trimester is ideal, however the ADA officially states that “you don’t have to worry about the safety of the numbing medications your dentist may use during the procedure” and “Yes, it’s safe to get an X-ray during pregnancy.” Make sure you tell your dental team that you are pregnant and they will make adjustments in their recommendations if need be. Using standard precautions, dental office personnel know they need to treat all female patients like they are pregnant until notified otherwise. That includes using a lead apron, digital x-rays and only taking the necessary images needed to diagnose properly. Stick to the schedule for cleanings twice per year and maybe even more often to treat gingivitis or periodontal disease.
According to The Journal of Women’s Health, Web MD and many other reputable sources “As a result of varying hormone levels, 40% of women will develop gingivitis sometime during their pregnancy.” Chances are you will still notice some type of pregnancy related gingivitis even with good habits. Don’t worry too much though, most of these symptoms will settle down if you stick to a plan. Eating healthy, staying hydrated, and getting plenty of rest are especially important right now. Soon enough you will have that baby in your arms! The hardest part of this plan will then be putting that peanut down for long enough to brush and floss!