Pregnant mothers have a natural nurturing instinct. She is responsible for the developing fetus in her womb and she automatically becomes protective of the baby. When a woman becomes pregnant, they suddenly become cautious about a lot of things and it usually results in the avoidance of potential dangers.
In line with this, many pregnant women avoid dental visits because of their natural protective instinct. Seeing dental procedures as a threat to their child, they stay away, not really understanding what is certain:
• Pregnancy and gum disease. When a woman is pregnant, her body is ridden in hormones and the same hormones that make her emotional, can also cause gum disease. Pregnant women are prone to bleeding and swollen gums and this makes it necessary for them to observe stricter oral hygiene measures, which include visits to the dentist for oral prophylaxis and cleaning. There is such a thing as pregnancy gingivitis and if you want to avoid it, you will take this matter seriously. There is nothing wrong for a pregnant women to have her teeth cleaned—as a matter of fact, it is encouraged.
• The use of anesthetic solutions. Much of the danger involved in dental treatments is the use of anesthetic solution. To avoid putting the developing fetus at risk, all procedures that require the use anesthesia is avoided. Of course, there are special brands that are considered pregnant-friendly, but most dentists, mothers and obgyns will opt to defer tooth extractions, root canal and other elective procedures, unless there is a dire emergency. The health and safety of the child is the top priority, so unless there is no choice, these procedures are deferred until after giving birth.
• Dental xrays. The radiation emitted by xray machines pose a risk for the developing fetus. While the dental xray emits very minimal radiation compared to other machines, it is used with much care or avoided at all. The wearing of lead aprons and all kinds of protective covering should be provided to the pregnant woman if a radiograph has to be taken.
• Dental fillings are safe. A pregnant woman may receive a dental filling at any stage in her pregnancy but as caution, only shallow cavities should be treated. The risk of encountering a deep cavity may lead to emergency need for a root canal or tooth extraction (which requires the use of anesthetic solution), so it is best avoided, instead.
• The second trimester. Did you know that there is a safety window? The use of anesthetic solutions and the performance of other procedures are avoided during pregnancy for fear of its effect on the development of the fetus. Should there be any treatments scheduled, note that the second trimester is the safest window to do all that. Of course all treatments will have to be agreed on by between the mother, dentist and physician. Unless a medical clearance is obtained, no dental procedure will be performed.
Upon hearing the news of a pregnancy, everyone automatically delights the news because a baby is a blessing and it is welcomed blessing that celebrates love, life and togetherness. A woman often feels very fulfilled when the news of a pregnancy is first found out and her protective instincts suddenly become alert. However so, be mindful that neglecting your dental health is never a good idea—even when a baby is in your womb.