Dental care during pregnancy is safe and recommended. Many physical changes occur during pregnancy that affect not only your hormone and appetite levels, but can also affect your oral health. It is critical that while you are pregnant, you maintain optimal health of your teeth and gums. Along with routine dental care, during pregnancy you will be screened for oral disease that may result from the hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy, and erosion that may result from increased acid in the mouth following morning sickness.
If you suffer from morning sickness, it is recommended that you rinse out with a baking soda mouth wash (1 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in a cup of water). You should only brush your teeth after the mouth has been rinsed and the acid has been neutralised. This will prevent further damage to the enamel.
Due to the rise in hormone levels during pregnancy, your gums may swell, bleed and trap food resulting in irritation. It is critical that you attend your dentist and hygienist to prevent gum disease. This is particularly serious during pregnancy as recent research suggests that gum disease has been linked to increased risk of stillborn and miscarriage. Although this has been observed in cases of specific aggressive bacteria, we recommend that you continue to attend during your pregnancy.
If you require more complex dental treatment, it is recommended that this be carried out during the second trimester of your pregnancy. While it is typically preferred that treatment is postponed until after the birth, any emergency dental work such as primary root canal treatment or extraction may be advised during the second trimester. Other elective treatments such as bleaching, cosmetic dentistry or non-emergency treatment should be delayed until after the birth.
The use of medications and x-rays during pregnancy is not normally recommended. As there are conflicting studies on the possibility of certain medications crossing the placenta barrier, we do not administer any medication unless absolutely necessary and in consultation with your GP. X-rays that are typically taken during a regular check-up to aid diagnosis will be postponed until after the birth to avoid any potential risk. Please ensure that your dentist is aware of your pregnancy and due date prior to or at your visit.