It is extra important to keep your mouth healthy while your pregnant and have a baby! Here’s why: The oral health of a pregnant woman, and subsequently a new mom can directly impact the health of her baby. Mothers transmit their oral bacteria to their babies, who are born with no oral bacteria. Good oral health for Mom, especially during pregnancy, reduces her own bad oral bacteria and thus reduces what she transmits to the baby. Cavities and periodontal disease are caused by bacteria, so you don’t want to pass the “bad bugs” that causes those diseases to your baby. It is important to understand that a lack of oral hygiene during pregnancy presents a risk to your baby. Care for mom=Care for baby!
Today it is also even considered safe to have dental x-rays while pregnant. “Teeth cleanings and dental X-rays are safe for pregnant women. OB-GYNs are being advised to perform routine oral health assessments at the first prenatal visit and encourage their patients to see a dentist during pregnancy”, according to recommendations issued by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in a July 26 statement.
X-rays? You may be skeptical. Dental x-rays have produced only very small amounts of radiation for a long time. A full set of x-rays, even with the older film technique, produced as much radiation as standing outside for 10 minutes. Today’s digital radiography produces approximately 1/8 of that already low amount. Dental professionals step out of the room during exposure because radiation is cumulative. Protective shields covering abdomen and thyroid are used on all patients, and has been standard for decades. Richards Frankel Dentistry would only take x-rays on pregnant patients if it is absolutely necessary.
The American Dental Association (ADA) also states in a news article that “…local anesthesia (with or without epinephrine) are safe during pregnancy.” So, if you need a cavity filled while your pregnant, don’t worry you can be numb!
The ADA also writes that “…conditions requiring immediate treatment, such as extractions, root canals, and restoration (amalgam or composite) of untreated caries, may be managed at any time during pregnancy. Delaying treatment may result in more complex problems.” Take care of your mouth now and help to prevent disease in your baby’s mouth! Richards Frankel Dentistry will weigh the risks of dental treatment vs. non-treatment while a woman is pregnant, as we would never put a mother, or her baby at risk!
Best, Dr. Frankel
“Baby Shoes” by Meagan is licensed under CC BY