With a baby on its way or just born, one of the things you might stop thinking about is your mouth.
At the same time, your body is in the middle of some of the most significant changes it will ever go through.
But, not only is it essential to keep up your oral hygiene and dental visits during pregnancy and after, sometimes it is necessary to get dental treatment? But what treatments are safe?
At EK Dental Surgery, we have answers to these questions.
First, let’s take a look at the main things you may need to get treated
Gingivitis is the most common dental issue for expecting mothers. During pregnancy, there is a spike in levels of the hormone progesterone, which create more acid in the mouth, that can lead to gingivitis.
The increased acid can reach your baby, increasing their risk of premature birth and low birth weight.
Tooth decay is another common risk of pregnancy, especially in the case of morning sickness. If morning sickness leads to vomiting, the level of acid in your mouth increases, as does the risk for tooth decay.
Severe tooth decay can lead to cavities or even tooth loss.
Breastfeeding moms are at an increased risk for tooth decay if they don’t stay hydrated or if they neglect brushing and flossing.
Nursing moms lose up to 5 per cent of their bone mass as their children use more calcium. This can cause periodontal disease or gingivitis, which can damage the gums and cause bone loss of the jaw.
To prevent this, it’s essential to maintain a healthy diet throughout your time breastfeeding, including lots of calcium and vitamin D.
Because of these issues, you must maintain your normal visits to EK Dental Surgery during and after your pregnancy.
Generally speaking, healthy pregnancy with no complications means standard treatments, such as cleanings and fillings, can be safely done in the second and third trimesters.
Treatment during pregnancy
Here are a few things to consider during pregnancy.
The risk of not treating some dental issues often outweighs the very small risks of dental work during pregnancy. In many cases, treating dental issues during pregnancy is optimal for both mother and child.
The second trimester is the optimal time for routine dental procedures. Fetal organs have developed, the risk of nausea and vomiting is decreased, and most women can still recline comfortably in a dental chair.
Elective procedures and dental surgeries should be postponed until after the pregnancy
Avoid X-rays. If you’ve had regular dental visits, X-rays can likely be delayed beyond pregnancy.
If an emergency calls for X-rays, we will use a lead apron and collar to minimise exposure to your abdomen area and thyroid.
Concentrate on comfort. If lying on your back is uncomfortable, bring a pillow and take frequent breaks.
Bring headphones to listen to your favourite music. Where possible, break treatments into smaller appointments.
Dental Medicines and Breastfeeding
If you are breastfeeding, make sure your dentist knows. Here are a few typically used medicines and how they interact with breastfeeding.
- Novocaine (and other drugs used for local anesthesia, such as bupivacaine and lidocaine) are considered safe.
- X-rays are safe for breastfeeding mothers and children.
- Some antibiotics are considered safe – again, this is why your dentist needs to know if you are breastfeeding.
- Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) is also considered safe as the gas is insoluble in the bloodstream.
- Most medicines for IV sedation and oral sedation are safe.
If you do need to take medicine while breastfeeding, check-in with your dentist and physician or paediatrician to ensure the drug is safe. While dental health is important, the health of your child is even more important!
Take care of yourself while pregnant or breastfeeding
Don’t skimp on oral hygiene while pregnant or breastfeeding. It is not uncommon for a pregnant or breastfeeding woman to cut back on “non-essential” activities and brushing and flossing sometimes suffer.
This can lead to more gum disease and cavities, which are dangerous because bacteria that grows in a mother’s mouth can be transferred to their children.
Stick with brushing twice a day and flossing once a day!
Also, be sure to stay hydrated, because a dry mouth can also increase the risk for gum disease and cavities.
Finally, as mentioned, make sure your EK Dental Surgery dentist knows that you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
We will adjust our recommendations and treatments to maximise your health and that of your child during pregnancy and nursing.!
Reasons to Smile at EK Dental Surgery!
We are a team of dedicated dentists and staff working to provide the best care possible.
At EK Dental Surgery, we can help you achieve tip-top dental health and a movie-star smile!
EK Dental Surgery is conveniently located on Springvale Road in Glen Waverley.
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We are located at 230 Springvale Road in Glen Waverley.