Being pregnant is such a special time of life but it can come with its own challenges. When you are pregnant it’s important to continue to do what you can to maintain good oral health, especially if you are dealing with morning sickness. It’s important to make sure you brush your teeth after you are sick to help prevent stomach acids from negatively impacting your teeth and gums.
Here are Making You Smile, your top-rated family dentist in NYC, we love getting a chance to check in with our pregnant patients. When they come in to visit they often ask a number of questions regarding pregnancy and dental work so we thought we’d take a moment to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about going to the dentist when you are pregnant.
The simple answer is yes pregnant women can have dental work completed while they are pregnant. If the work is elective dental work (dental work not related to pain or an emergency) it is usually best performed during the second trimester. It is important that the mother has no cavities in her mouth when the baby is born because the bacteria which make cavities are transmitted usually from the caregiver to the baby during the first 2 years of life through saliva, such as when the baby food is tested for temperature by the caregiver, using a spoon and then the same spoon is used to feed the baby, or by kissing the baby on the mouth or hands and then the baby places his or her hands in their mouth. If that transmission is reduced because the caregiver is cavity-free, then the child will have a lower incidence of cavities throughout their life, even as an adult. So, it is important to get the oral disease of the mom treated before the baby is born and the second trimester is the safest time to do it.
Here at Making You Smile NYC, we try to avoid x-rays during pregnancy. However, if there is an emergency and x-rays are needed to diagnose a problem, there is a very safe way to do it. Usually, we use one x-ray shield on all patients when we take x-rays, for pregnant mothers we use a double shield over the entire chest and belly. This extra precaution coupled with the very low radiation level used on digital x-rays makes sure the baby is protected from any x-rays.
Yes, dental cleanings are safe and recommended during pregnancy. The hormonal changes in the body during pregnancy can make the gums more prone to inflammation and bleeding. It is important for the mom to keep the health of her teeth and gums. Therefore, it is highly recommended that she gets at least one cleaning during the second trimester of pregnancy.
If needed, then yes a pregnant mother can have a dental injection (local anesthetic) to be able to get dental work done. Many dental anesthetics are safe during pregnancy; however, obstetricians usually recommend the ones which do not contain epinephrine such as Mepivacaine. If you need dental work done while pregnant that involves getting an injection an experienced dentist near you will go over your options of anesthetics. Breastfeeding mothers can also have dental injections as needed for any dental work they require. It is recommended that they save some milk ahead of time for one or two feedings and discard milk for the following four hours after the appointment.
If you live in New York City and are looking for a new family dentist and you are pregnant don’t hesitate to contact our office about setting up an initial consultation. We would be happy to meet with you and answer any questions you might have about our dental clinic or about pregnancy and dental care. Contact us today.