Dental Care During Pregnancy: Reassuring Facts

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Expectant mothers often have questions about the safety of dental care. Preventative exams and dental cleanings are not just safe, they are highly recommended. During your pregnancy, your body will produce higher levels of hormones, and they may affect your oral health. Hormone shifts cause gum swelling and bleeding that could eventually lead to oral infections like gum disease. Research has indicated that oral infections during pregnancy are associated with preterm birth. To protect your baby’s health and your own, find an affordable dentist who provides preventative dental care for expectant mothers.

Other Dental Work and Pregnancy

Dental work such as fillings and crowns should be performed to reduce infection risk. This type of work is best accomplished during the second trimester when possible. During the third trimester, it may be difficult for you to remain on your back for extended periods of time. At the later stages of pregnancy, it is safest to postpone unnecessary and elective work until after the birth to avoid exposing your baby to any risks. Emergency work, such as root canals or extractions, is sometimes necessary.

Medications and X-Rays

Studies about the adverse effects of common dental medications on developing babies yield conflicting results. Lidocaine does cross the placenta, so if you need dental work, it’s best to use as little of the drug as possible to maintain comfort. Dental treatments often include antibiotics to prevent or treat bacterial infection. Penicillin, amoxicillin, and clindamycin are generally considered safe during pregnancy. X-rays taken for routine annual exams can be postponed until after the birth, but sometimes they are necessary for emergency procedures. The American College of Radiology states that no single diagnostic x-ray is capable of harming a developing fetus or embryo.

5 Dental Care Tips for Expectant Mothers

To optimize your dental health during pregnancy, observe the following suggestions.

  1. Tell your dentist you are pregnant.
  2. Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet.
  3. Brush and floss daily.
  4. Keep your legs uncrossed while in the dentist’s chair to maintain healthy circulation.
  5. Bring a pillow and music you enjoy to your dental appointment to enhance your comfort.

To learn about our family dentistry practice in Philadelphia, call Gentle Dental of Pennsylvania today at (215) 789-9675 or make an appointment.

Gentle Dental offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Philadelphia. With 14 affiliated practices in the Greater Philadelphia area, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Gentle Dental of Pennsylvania, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Gentle Dental of Pennsylvania.

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