Pregnancy can be an exciting, yet anxiety-inducing nine months. The last place a mom-to-be wants to be is another appointment with a doctor. Anyone thinking they can skip out on the dentist, though, should think again. The consequences of not treating an infection during pregnancy can outweigh any potential risks from the treatment itself.

Dental work and pregnancy planning go hand in hand.

* If attempting to get pregnant, first schedule an appointment with your dentist to take care of any potential issues. Pregnancy can cause gingivitis, a condition that leads to tender gums that bleed easily. But don’t fret too much – this is normal. Caused by hormonal changes, 60 to 70 percent of women experience gingivitis as a side effect of increased progesterone and estrogen.

  • Communicate with your dentist throughout your prenatal months. All non-elective treatments are safe, even X-rays. However, alerting the practice of your pregnancy will ensure that extra precautions are taken.
  • Be cautious with cravings. During pre-natal months, the body might crave different foods than usual. It’s a common side effect of pregnancy, but be wary of the impact these foods may have on your oral health.
    Cravings for sticky or sugary foods could potentially result in cavities.
  • Check in with your dentist upon noticing any pain or sensitivity.
  • Continue brushing for two minutes, twice a day and flossing once daily. If this makes you nauseous, or you are experiencing vomiting, taking antacids and rinsing the mouth are good temporary alternatives. 

A dental visit to keep the mouth healthy during pregnancy is just as important as any other visit to the doctor.

The bottom line: standard dental work and urgent procedures during pregnancy are safe and necessary for mother and child.