Don’t Skip a Visit to Your Dentist If you’re Pregnant! (Part I)
I wrote last year about pregnancy and visiting your dentist last year, so I wanted to take a look back. Here’s the first of two part…
Just about every woman goes to a doctor when she finds out that she’s pregnant. However, during a pregnancy it is very important for a woman to see her dentist, too. It is a more common myth than you’d probably believe, but some women are told not to seek dental care during pregnancy because it could harm the unborn child. Nothing could be further from the truth – with a little caution tossed in.
Routine maintenance of your mouth during pregnancy is a must. Brushing and flossing is a daily habit that needs to continue. Poor periodontal health can actually be a contributing factor of premature birth and lower-weight births. A number of clinical studies have indicated this to be more than a concern, although no definitive answer has been proven by the research.
So, do not skip a scheduled check-up with your dentist just because you become pregnant. Some minor procedures, such as getting a filling, are not known to be harmful and maintaining good oral health is must during pregnancy.
X-rays are probably the most misunderstood component that women face during pregnancy. Some say to avoid X-rays at all cost, but the experts say a routine, necessary X-ray is safe for both mother and child. Your dentist would not recommend it if, first, it was not necessary or, second, if was potentially harmful.
However, some sources, including the respected Cleveland Clinic and dental associations, note that cosmetic dentistry such as teeth whitening or other elective dentistry be postponed until after delivery. On the side of ultimate caution, though, the Cleveland Clinic recommends that dental treatments should be avoided during the first trimester and the latter part of the third trimester.