Common Questions about Oral Health During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a time full of changes. Your body is working hard to create new life and the changes to your body seem to be endless. One of the changes that you may not think about at first is how pregnancy may affect your teeth and oral health. Among all the doctor's visits, baby showers, and nursery decorating, be sure to also schedule a visit to the dentist early in your pregnancy. During this visit your dentist can assess your oral health and create a plan for oral care throughout your pregnancy. Doing so will ensure your oral health is on track while you make preparations for your new family member to arrive.

Why is Oral Health Important During Pregnancy?

The pregnancy hormones flowing through your body during pregnancy help your body adapt and change to allow for a new human life to grow inside you. They are responsible for a lot of changes happening in your body, including changes to your teeth and gums. The hormones can make you more susceptible to gingivitis, gum disease, tooth decay, dry mouth and other concerns. Additionally, morning sickness can result in vomiting which can cause damage to your teeth if you are not caring for them properly. During a visit with your dentist you can discuss all these concerns and establish a proper oral care plan that will help prevent issues from occurring.

Is Teeth Cleaning Safe During Pregnancy?

Many of the procedures you experience during a regular visit to the dentist are perfectly safe for you and your baby. In fact, regular dental cleanings are encouraged during pregnancy. As your visit begins, be sure to let your dental hygienist and dentist know that you are pregnant so that they can make adjustments to your appointment if necessary. Also let them know if you are not feeling well or need other accommodations to make you more comfortable.

Are Oral X-Rays Safe During Pregnancy?

Generally speaking the American Dental Association (ADA) has deemed x-rays safe during pregnancy. Even so, your dentist may choose to forgo routine x-rays during your visit just as a precaution. However, in cases of emergency or when x-rays are necessary, your dentist will make sure you and your baby are protected from x-rays by using a leaded apron and only taking required images. 

Can I Get Anesthesia While Pregnant?

While pregnant your dentist may suggest dental work such as fillings or having a tooth removed. These procedures are generally considered safe during pregnancy and your dentist will take any necessary precautions to ensure safety for you and your baby. With some of these procedures, anesthesia may be necessary. Numbing just around the tooth is generally considered safe, but your dentist will talk you through your options when needed.

Pregnancy is a time of excitement and change. It is also a time when health is of utmost importance, both for you and your baby. This includes oral health. So, take the time to make sure you are taking the steps you need to in order to ensure your teeth are getting the care they need.