Many women are cautious when it comes to getting dental care while they're pregnant. The truth is, preventative dental care isn't just safe during pregnancy, it's actually recommended. This is important because during pregnancy, women are more vulnerable to certain kinds of oral health problems.
Why is Dental Care so Important during Pregnancy?
During pregnancy, hormonal changes are the cause of a huge number of physical changes. Some of these changes occur in the mouth; for example, the gums swell and are more likely to become irritated or bleed. This means pregnant women are more vulnerable to gum disease and oral infections. Prevention is particularly important during this time not just for the woman's oral health, but also because gum disease during pregnancy is linked to early birth.
What Kinds of Procedures are Safe?
Most dental procedures are safe to undergo during pregnancy. Preventative dental care, including cleanings, can be carried out as normal. It may even be useful to visit the dentist more often to account for the increased risk of gum disease.
Problems such as cavities, tooth infection, and gum disease should be treated if they develop during pregnancy, to ensure that the risk of infection is minimized. However, any non-essential dental work can be postponed until after birth.
A common concern for women during pregnancy is the possible harm that medications such as antibiotics and anesthetics might do to a developing fetus. According to the American Dental Association, there's no evidence that dental anesthetics cause any harm during pregnancy, either to a pregnant woman or to her growing child. There are also several antibiotics, including penicillin and clindamycin that are safe to use during pregnancy.
While most procedures are safe, it's recommended that pregnant women avoid having elective cosmetic treatments such as whitening. Even though these procedures pose minimal risk, it's still good to postpone them until after the baby is born.
When is the Safest Time for Dental Work?
Most dentists prefer to wait until the second trimester to perform dental procedures on pregnant women. Most recognize the first trimester as being a more sensitive time for the baby and sitting for long periods of time in a dental chair may be unfordable for the mother during her third trimester.
As a further precaution, most dentists require that a pregnant woman obtain a medical release from their obstetrician, confirming that she and her baby are in good health, and are fit enough to undergo the procedure.
Contact Us Today at Parkside Dental
If you have any questions or concerns about getting dental care during pregnancy, or you want to schedule an appointment, call us at Parkside Dental in Fairfield. We understand the concerns that women have during pregnancy, and we're here to help you get the dental care you need to stay healthy during this important time.