If you are a mother or an expectant mother, you may have wondered if it is safe to get dental procedures.
You want good oral health, and in fact that is better for your child as well, but you may be worried that some kind of dental treatment could be bad for your child.
At Forster Dental Centre, we’re going to share some information with you that should clear your questions up!
What about dental treatment while pregnant?
Of course, the most important thing to do is let your dentist know you are pregnant and have a discussion about your dental health and what can be done.
But here are some general rules to follow:
Be cautious about X-rays. If you visit Forster Dental Centre regularly, it is likely that X-rays can be put off until after your child is born.
If X-rays do become necessary, in cases such as trauma, your Forster dentist will place a lead apron with a collar on you to minimise potential X-ray exposure to your thyroid and abdomen.
Routine dental treatment is best during the second trimester. By the second semester, fetal organ development is complete, feelings of nausea and the chance of vomiting may be reduced, and most patients should still be comfortable reclining in the dental chair.
You should postpone major dental surgeries and elective treatments until after pregnancy.
If a dental situation is dire, you need treatment. Sometimes the risks of not treating oral pain, swelling, damage, or infection may outweigh the small risks associated with dental work while pregnant.
Medicines, including antibiotics, local anesthetics, and pain medicines, can be safely used during pregnancy, and treating serious issues is generally better for both mother and child.
Be comfortable. Shorter appointments are better as they prevent discomfort and pressure on the lower back while reclining in a dental chair.
Don’t forget to bring headphones with your favourite music. If lying on your back is uncomfortable, bring a pillow and ask for frequent breaks.
If the procedure is long, ask your dentist if you can split it up into a few shorter appointments.
Seek dental treatment and have a checkup prior to pregnancy to avoid any issues while pregnant.
Dental treatments and breastfeeding
In general, any dental treatment but teeth whitening can be performed during breastfeeding. Safe local anaesthetics that don’t affect breast milk will be used.
Regular dental appointments and cleaning every six months are very important to maintain during pregnancy and breastfeeding to ensure optimal oral health.
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.
- X-rays are safe for breastfeeding mothers and children.
- Novocaine (and other drugs used for local anesthesia, such as bupivacaine and lidocaine) are considered safe.
- Most medicines for IV sedation and oral sedation are safe.
- Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) is also considered safe as the gas is insoluble in the bloodstream.
- There are antibiotics that are considered safe – again, this is why your dentist needs to know if you are breastfeeding.
Take care of yourself while pregnant & breastfeeding
One of the most important things a mother can do, while pregnant or breastfeeding, is to keep up on their oral hygiene.
Dentists often report that pregnant or breastfeeding women have so much else going on that they are not brushing as much as they once did, and some are not brushing at all.
Unfortunately, reduced oral hygiene leads to an increased chance of cavities and gum disease.
Cavities, particularly, are an issue as something as simple as sharing a spoon with your child can transfer bacteria into their mouths. This can transfer tooth decay from mother to child.
Another issue, particularly while breastfeeding, is to stay hydrated. If mothers have dry mouths, they are at risk for gum disease and cavities, which can be transmitted to the child.
The good news is that if you are a pregnant woman or if you are breastfeeding, your Forster Dental Centre is expert at taking care of your oral health, including recommending appropriate treatments and using safe techniques and medicine.
With good communication between patient and dentist, we can keep your mouth healthy, to help keep your child healthy!
Your Local Dentist – Forster Dental Centre
At Forster Dental Centre, we provide each patient with the care that allows them to maintain healthy teeth and a beautiful smile for life!
We offer an extensive range of dental services from preventative dentistry to restorative dental options along with the latest in cosmetic dentistry solutions for straighter and whiter teeth.
We pride ourselves on listening to the needs and concerns of all our patients and aim to provide you with the personalised attention you and your family deserves.
We are located at 1st Floor Forster Tower, 12 Wallis St in Forster.