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John P. Goodman DDS

Dental Care During Pregnancy

By Dr. John Goodman on December 22, 2014

A woman smiling with bright white, healthy teethPregnancy brings many obvious changes to a woman's body, and it can also affect oral health. Pregnant women are actually more susceptible to developing gum disease due to an increase in the hormone progesterone. Fortunately, continuing dental care during pregnancy is safe and highly recommended. Many general dentistry dentistry treatments are suitable for pregnant women and should be performed to protect both the mother and baby's health. To learn more about dental care during pregnancy, read this overview from Kansas City dentist John P. Goodman.

Dental Care During Pregnancy

It is important to tell your dentist you're pregnant so precautions can be taken to ensure the safety of your growing baby. Though general dentistry treatments are safe for expectant mothers, it is best to avoid unnecessary dental treatments during the first trimester and second half of the third trimester of pregnancy. That-being-said, emergency treatments should be performed if needed, as issues like tooth decay or gum disease can lead to major problems if left untreated. The second trimester is generally the best time during pregnancy to handle routine care like cleanings and exams. 

Safe Dental Treatments for Pregnant Women

Pregnancy should not keep you from seeing your dentist. Regular dental exams and professional cleanings are safe and vital to ensuring proper oral health in pregnant women. Emergency treatments are also safe and should be performed to prevent infection or more serious health problems. Some treatments that are safe for pregnant women include:

  • Routine dental exams
  • Professional cleanings
  • Root canal therapy
  • Dental fillings

Are Dental X-rays Safe During Pregnancy?

Dental X-rays should be avoided during pregnancy, but they may be necessary in the event of a dental emergency. Fortunately, the amount of radiation received from dental X-rays is minimal. To date, no negative effects from dental X-rays have been observed in fetal growth. If X-rays are a must to treat your dental issues, the utmost caution will be used to ensure the welfare of mother and baby.

Treatments to Avoid During Pregnancy

Elective or cosmetic treatments should be postponed until after pregnancy. Though there isn't evidence showing cosmetic treatments to be harmful to pregnant women, it is always best to not take any risks when it comes to unnecessary dental treatments. Some treatments to avoid during pregnancy include:

  • Teeth whitening
  • Cosmetic dental veneers
  • Dental bonding
  • Any cosmetic treatment

Prevent the Need for Emergency Treatments During Pregnancy

Though many dental treatments can be performed during pregnancy, prevention is best. Before you become pregnant, schedule regular visits with your dentist to ensure your oral health is at it's best. Seek treatment for tooth decay, or even cosmetic treatments, before pregnancy to avoid any future risk during pregnancy. Once you become pregnant, be sure to follow proper oral hygiene practices. Brush your teeth at least twice a day for two full minutes at a time. Pay particular attention to the back teeth and gum line and floss at least once a day.

Schedule a Consultation

For more information about dental care during pregnancy, schedule a consultation with Dr. Goodman.

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