Should Pregnant Women Visit the Dentist?
It’s a widely held belief that dentistry while pregnant can be risky for the baby. In fact, the opposite is true! Good oral health doesn’t just help the mother stay healthy; it also contributes to a healthy baby.
It is safe, and even encouraged, to have a checkup when pregnant. That’s because pregnant women are at a higher risk of cavities and gingivitis. What’s more, poor oral health can lead to complications in pregnancy, including preterm labor and low birth weight. As soon as you know your due date, schedule a visit with your dentist, bearing in mind that all three trimesters are safe for dental visits, but the second trimester is the safest and most comfortable time to have dental work. Having a routine dental checkup during pregnancy can help protect against periodontal disease and oral infections, but postpone any cosmetic procedures or x-rays until after the baby is born.
For any procedure more complex than a checkup, talk to your doctor about concerns you might have regarding medication. Some medications are safe during pregnancy, and your dentist will be able to advise you on which ones are right for you. There is some evidence that nitrous oxide should be avoided in early pregnancy, but many other anesthetics are safe, including propofol, barbiturates, blocking agents, and local anesthetics. Certain antibiotics are safe for use during pregnancy as well, including penicillins, cephalosporins, erythromycin, and clindamycin. If you need pain relief, acetaminophen is probably best. While you may be accustomed to taking NSAIDs like ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen in your everyday life, it’s not a good choice during pregnancy. In the early days of pregnancy, NSAIDs may increase your risk of miscarriage, and some studies have suggested a risk of birth defects. In the third trimester, it’s especially important to avoid NSAIDs, because they can cause a blood vessel in the baby’s heart to close before it should, resulting in high blood pressure in the lungs. Opioids are also not recommended during pregnancy because the baby can become addicted. Remember, you should always talk to your obstetrician before taking any medication.
If you’re looking for reliable dental care, look to Belmont Dental Group. At Belmont Dental Group, our team of dentists provides personalized and gentle dental care, backed up by more than 25 years of experience. We believe in open, honest communication, and encourage our patients to ask questions and learn all they can about different treatment options and make informed decisions. Our practice covers all phases of dentistry from teeth cleaning to cosmetic dentistry to emergency care, and we’re committed to helping patients become partners in their own dental health. We always have your best interests in mind and will use our training and technology to benefit you and your family. If you’re looking for quality dental services and personalized care in an atmosphere of trust, call (617) 484-2431 or contact us through our website to learn more.