Pregnancy is always an incredibly busy time in any woman’s life. Between the doctor’s visits, planning for baby showers, shopping for cribs, and classes you also have to fit in many different doctor’s appointments to track your baby’s growth. It can therefore be very easy to overlook your oral health during this time. Practicing good oral hygiene and maintaining regular visits to your dentist is beneficial for both you and your baby. However, you remember all the different imaging that’s done and might wonder if it’s safe to visit your dentist. The good news is your dentist is more than equipped to handle pregnant patients. Here are the details on why it’s not only safe but crucial to see your dentist while you’re pregnant.

Are dentist visits safe while you’re pregnant?

The short answer is yes. It’s very important to continue your regular visits while you’re expecting. Research has shown that women who don’t get their teeth cleaned regularly before becoming pregnant don’t prioritize going to the dentist while pregnant. There are several very real benefits to visiting the dentist. First, it’s important to prevent tooth decay. While pregnant you’re at a greater risk of tooth decay from extra snacking to morning sickness exposing your teeth to harsh acids. Your dentist will look for signs of tooth decay at each of your visits. They’ll also keep an eye out for gingivitis. Pregnancy leads to a higher risk of this mild form of gum disease. Gingivitis makes the gums red, sore and could make them more susceptible to bleeding. If gingivitis is left untreated it’s possible that it could lead to more serious forms of gum disease. Gum diseases have been connected to pre-term births and low birth weights. 

Are X-rays safe while you’re pregnant?

X-rays that are used to examine your teeth aren’t harmful, but to stay on the safe side your dentist will probably not opt to use them unless it’s absolutely necessary for treatment, such as in the case of a dental emergency. If an X-ray is necessary, your dentist will ensure your abdomen is covered in a special lead apron to protect your baby. The X-rays you might be used to at your regular visits will be postponed until after you have your baby.

Can you receive anesthesia during pregnancy?

Simple and routine procedures like fillings, root canals, or having teeth pulled will probably still go ahead while you’re pregnant. Procedures such as these are necessary to reduce the risk of infection and other problems that can cause issues with your pregnancy. The local anesthetics that just numb the area where the procedure is taking place usually okay to receive during pregnancy. Your dentist will make sure to go over all the available options to you.

Keeping your teeth healthy at home:

As we’ve seen, good oral hygiene is one of the many things that can help support a healthy pregnancy. In addition to continuing your regular visits with your dentist, it’s important to keep up a good routine at home. It’s important to brush your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and floss once daily. As tempting as they may be, it’s good to limit sugary foods and drinks and much as possible. If you do have something that’s sugary, it may be a good idea to brush right after. It’s something you probably don’t want to think about, but it’s important to avoid brushing your teeth right after vomiting. This exposes your teeth to harsh stomach acids. You can rinse your mouth out with a cup of water and one teaspoon of baking soda to neutralize the acid. 

Every pregnancy can be a mix of astonishment and stress and each one is different. One thing that links them together is the need to keep up good oral hygiene both for your benefit and the well-being of your baby. If you’d like to talk to a dentist about your unique concerns and questions, feel free to schedule a visit with us and we’ll work with you to make sure your oral health is in good shape while you’re expecting.