What You Should Know about Dental Care and Pregnancy

Dental Care and Pregnancy - Woodinville

Aug 5, 2015 — by Cristin Dowd, DDS
Tags: General Dentistry Tooth Decay Restorative Dentistry

A woman with a healthy looking smile resting her head on a pillowWith pregnancy comes a long list of “do's and don'ts,” which can leave many expectant mothers wondering which dental treatments are safe and which should be avoided during pregnancy. General dentistry treatments can help reduce the risk of oral health issues, even during pregnancy. To find out which treatments are right for you, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with our Woodinville dentists Cristin Dowd and Ken Wu. In the meantime, Drs. Dowd and Wu offer these tips and answers to common dental care and pregnancy concerns.

Dental Care Tips for Expectant Mothers

Proper dental care is key to maintaining a healthy smile, especially during pregnancy. The hormonal changes experienced in pregnancy can affect oral health, specifically leading to an increased risk of gum disease. If left untreated, gum disease can cause tooth decay and tooth loss. Studies even suggest there may be a link between gum disease and premature births and low birth weight as a result of bacteria from gum disease traveling through the blood stream to the uterus. Preventing gum disease and other oral health problems during pregnancy requires diligent care. Here are some dental care tips to help you keep your smile healthy during pregnancy:

  • Don't skip flossing: Flossing is the best way to prevent gum disease. Floss at least once a day, everyday. When flossing, be sure to fully sweep the floss up and down along each side of each tooth and as far along the gum line as possible.
  • Brush twice a day: Brushing is also key to reducing the risk of gum disease and tooth decay. Brush your teeth at least twice a day and don't rush it. You should be brushing for a full two minutes every time you brush.
  • See your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings: Regular dental exams and cleanings are safe during pregnancy and allow dentists to catch oral health issues early. Be sure to let your dentist know you're pregnant before your dental exam and cleaning.

Which Treatments Are Safe During Pregnancy?

Though it's best to postpone cosmetic dental treatments until after pregnancy, general dentistry treatments are safe for expectant mothers. Dental issues, like tooth decay or root canal infections, may be treated during pregnancy because postponing treatment can lead to more serious oral health issues. Treatments that are safe to undergo during pregnancy include:

  • Regular dental check-ups and cleanings
  • Root canal therapy
  • Dental fillings
  • Gum disease treatment
  • Non-cosmetic treatments

In some cases, dental X-rays may be necessary for the treatment of emergency dental issues, like root canal infections. Traditional dental X-rays use extremely low levels of radiation. Though traditional dental X-rays have not been linked to having a negative impact on fetal development, it is preferable to avoid them during pregnancy. However, if traditional dental X-rays must be done, extra precautions are taken to reduce exposure to the mother and fetus. 

Digital X-rays offer a completely safe alternative to traditional dental X-rays, making them optimal for expectant mothers. Drs. Dowd and Wu prefer digital X-rays as they offer sharper images with no radiation exposure.

Schedule a Consultation

Don't neglect your dental health during pregnancy. To discuss which treatments are right for you, schedule a consultation at Signature Smiles today.

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