If you have ever been to our office and heard ‘oohing’ and ‘ahhing’, it is because either a puppy or baby is visiting! We welcome a visit from our patients ‘babies and fur babies’. And lately, I seem to have a lot of pregnant moms in the practice. This is always a good thing. Some moms and moms- to -be have been in the practice for a while, and others are new moms and new patients to the practice, wanting to know if it is safe to visit the dentist while pregnant.
Should I See the Dentist When I am Pregnant?
Good oral health and basic dental care is just as important to a healthy pregnancy as pre-natal care, nutritional awareness, abstaining from smoking and drinking, and taking care of yourself as well as your baby to be.
In 2013, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists published their official position that routine and preventive dental care, including local anesthetics, is safe during pregnancy.
I always advise anybody thinking of getting pregnant to include a dental visit part of your preparations. And seeing the dentist and hygienist for preventative care during pregnancy is also important. Hormone changes, and pregnancy itself, can causes changes to gum health. While the old wives tale that ‘the baby can take calcium from your teeth’ is definitely not true, it is important to make sure that you don’t have any cavities or infections before you become pregnant. Pregnancy is hard enough, and a mother to be doesn’t need the added stress and psychological
But sometimes a pregnant mom may need dental work (of course elective procedures can always wait). The best time to have dental work is in the second trimester. The use of “novocaine” is considered safe. Most pregnant patients can take Tylenol for pain. And antibiotics are generally considered safe. Tetracycline-related antibiotics should be avoided because they can cause staining of teeth in the developing baby.
And what about Xrays? In the age of digital xrays, with proper lead aprons and well trained office, it is considered safe. Unless absolutely necessary, we try to avoid xrays. But a few xrays to help diagnose pain or infection will be safe.