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I am pregnant and I have questions for my Dentist!

For clarity, all instructions contained here are the collaborative standard according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists as well as the American Dental Association.

Take home message: Healthy women with uncomplicated pregnancies can safely receive oral health services throughout their pregnancy without fear of harming themselves or the baby. This includes cleanings, fluoride, use of local anesthetics and YES even dental x-rays.

Common Questions:

1. Are x-rays safe during pregnancy? Yes, utilizing the lowest amount of radiation as possible (i.e. digital radiographs) and the use of 2 lead aprons including a collar to protect the thyroid. For patients with excellent oral hygiene that have a low risk for cavities, x-rays can be avoided during the 9 month period if patient wishes.

2. I am hurting, can I have treatment? Yes, visit your dentist who will take a necessary x-ray to evaluate your concern. In the case of an abscess or infection, treatment is recommended and necessary. Any elective treatment/cosmetic concerns or small fillings can be deferred until after the baby is born. Again, fillings can be done during pregnancy and are recommended to be done during the 2nd trimester.

3. Can I take medicine for tooth pain? The easy answer is yes, ask your dentist to inform you which over the counter meds would be best for you.

4. My gums are bleeding a lot, why? A very common condition called “pregnancy gingivitis” occurs in most women during the first two trimesters. This is due to change in hormones and change in normal bacteria that is always present. It is very important to prevent this by increasing awareness of oral hygiene. Brushing 3 times a day and the use of floss will help. Ask your dentist if there is more you can do. The common statement of “my teeth used be very healthy until my pregnancy caused cavities” is a myth. The baby does not affect the tooth structure like it does the gingiva so be careful with those pregnancy cravings!

Hopefully this was helpful in answering some common questions and misnomers. If you have any further questions, contact your dentist!! Thanks. Visit our website for more information regarding the services we provide or to view our patient feedback. See you soon! /CB