Post #42 – Pregnancy & Dental Treatment

Dental Care Prior to Pregnancy

If you are trying to become pregnant, it is highly recommended to have a thorough dental exam and all necessary x-rays. The last thing you want is to have a true dental emergency during pregnancy. It would be ideal to complete the dental work prior to pregnancy and anything non-critical can wait until after the pregnancy.

Dental Care During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, women should maintain good oral hygiene by brushing their teeth at least twice a day. Flossing is highly recommended every night. Gums have a tendency to become irritated during pregnancy due to hormonal changes, and good home care will keep that inflammation to a minimum.

It is OK to attend normal dental visits during pregnancy, such as cleanings and fillings. Patients should inform their dentist if they are or may be pregnant. In most cases, dentists would prefer to perform basic treatments. Typically, any critical dental work that cannot wait should be treated during the 2nd and early on the 3rd trimester. Any true dental emergency treatment should be treated right away regardless of pregnancy status.

Dental Care after Pregnancy

After childbirth, dental treatments can and should resume as usual.

Are Dental X-rays Dangerous during Pregnancy?

Although the dental radiation exposure is very low, it is always better to be on the safe side and avoid it if possible. Typically, x-rays need to be avoided during the first trimester. The only exception is during a true dental emergency. Precautions will be taken to limit the radiation frequency and exposure. It will be OK to take limited x-rays during the 2nd and 3rd trimester, but it will be a safer bet to avoid those as well if possible. As a rule of thumb, the more advanced in your pregnancy; the safer it is to take x-rays.

Can I Take Medications During Pregnancy?

Always consult your OBGYN as to what medications can or cannot be taken. Most dentists will not prescribe any medications unless they have a written letter from the OBGYN. It is best practice to obtain such letter and forward it to your dentist in order to save time and hassle should you develop a dental emergency.