Posts Tagged ‘dentist’

It’s time for the dentist

Friday, October 20th, 2017

There’s a lot to think about if you’re pregnant, or considering getting pregnant. Scheduling your preconception checkup or your prenatal care visits and remembering to take your prenatal vitamin every day are just a few of the things to keep in mind. But you also need to schedule your regular dental checkups both before and during pregnancy.

Why is dental care important during pregnancy?

Some studies show a link between periodontitis (a gum disease) and premature birth (birth before 37 weeks of pregnancy) and low birthweight (less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces). Taking good care of your gums and teeth during pregnancy can help you and your baby be healthy.

If you haven’t been to the dentist recently, see your dentist early in pregnancy. At your checkup, tell your dentist that you’re pregnant and about any prescription or over-the-counter medicines you take. If you’re not pregnant yet, tell your dentist you’re planning to get pregnant.

How are dental issues treated?

The kind of dental treatment you get depends on the problem that you have, and how far along you are in your pregnancy.

You may just need a really good teeth cleaning from your dentist. Or you may need surgery in your mouth. Your dentist can safely treat many problems during pregnancy. But he may tell you it’s better to wait until after birth for some treatments.

What about x-rays? Are they safe during pregnancy?

An X-ray is a medical test that uses radiation to make a picture of your body on film and your dentist may recommend one if you have a dental problem. Dental X-rays can show things like cavities, signs of plaque under your gums or bone loss in your mouth. Dental X-rays use very small amounts of radiation, but you should still make sure your provider knows you’re pregnant and protects you with a lead apron and collar that wraps around your neck. This helps keep your body and your baby safe.

What if there’s tooth pain?

If you have any pain now is the time to reach out to your dentist to schedule an appointment. Your dentist may avoid treating some problems in the first trimester of pregnancy because this is an important time in your baby’s growth and development. Your dentist also may suggest postponing some dental treatments during pregnancy if you’ve had a miscarriage in the past, or if you’re at higher risk of miscarriage than other women. But it’s still important to get any pain checked out before it becomes a bigger issue.

Have questions? Text or email us at AskUs@marchofdimes.org.

Dental fillings during pregnancy

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

tooth-acheOuch! Your tooth hurts, and you wonder if you have a cavity. I don’t know about you, but I hate going to the dentist. But sometimes we have to put on our brave faces and make the appointment.

Is it safe to have a tooth filled while you’re pregnant? Some dental fillings contain mercury. When these fillings are placed in teeth and removed from teeth, they release a small amount of mercury vapor. Mercury vapor may also be released when a person with a filling chews.

In general, pregnant women should avoid exposure to mercury because it can harm the nervous system of the developing fetus. So it’s a matter of balancing the small risk of mercury exposure against the health benefits of dental fillings.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently issued its latest recommendation on fillings. The FDA says that mercury fillings are safe for most people, including pregnant women. (BTW: The FDA uses the technical term “amalgam” to mean “filling,” so don’t let the language confuse you.)

If you are pregnant and need to have a tooth filled, talk to your dentist about the options available to you. Healthy teeth are part of having a healthy pregnancy.

Pregnancy gingivitis

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

I just got back from my dentist’s office. Even though I’m only five and a half months, this was the second cleaning and check-up I’ve had. Back in the spring when I told the hygienist that we were thinking of starting a family she recommended that I come back during early pregnancy and continue to see the dentist more often than usual.

Due to hormonal changes and increased blood flow, gums are more likely to become inflamed or infected during pregnancy. Most pregnant women have some bleeding of their gums, especially while brushing or flossing their teeth.

Don’t put off dental work until after delivery. Decaying teeth can cause infection that could harm your baby. Always be sure to tell your dentist that you’re pregnant and how far along you are.

Got a ton of Halloween candy?

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

All the kiddies went out on Halloween and loaded up their Trick-or-Treat bags with yummy sweets.  I’m sure your dentist was thrilled.  While it’s fabulous fun and down right delicious, holding on to all that tasty candy can be oh so tempting and terrible for the tooth, not to mention all of our chubby cheeks.

Maybe rather than gobbling up goodies throughout the day for the next few weeks, we should select a limited amount for ourselves and give the rest away.  Let your children keep their favorites, then teach them to share and treat others by donating the rest to a soup kitchen or food bank.  It’s a good lesson to teach them, and their teeth and your waistband will thank you for it, too.