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Image for the news item Dental care in pregnancy.

Dental care in pregnancy

Written by Susan Kiely on .

It is increasingly recognised that oral health plays an important role in general health and well- being and this is particularly relevant in pregnancy. Before pregnancy or as soon as a woman becomes pregnant we, at Fitzwilliam House Dental Practice recommend a visit for a comprehensive assessment of her oral health status to include having any appropriate treatment carried out and receive advice on the particular ways to maintain optimum oral hygiene and home- care during this time.

This pro-active approach can help avoid or minimise the oral health challenges or, in some cases, the complications that occur in pregnancy which can be difficult to manage at a time when various treatments and commonly used medications are best avoided, or even contra- indicated

Are routine treatments safe during pregnancy?

Dental care in pregnancy should be directed towards controlling disease, maintaining a healthy, comfortable oral environment and preventing potential problems that could arise later in the pregnancy or during the early post-delivery period. Therefore, to maintain oral health, scaling and polishing with regular professional care at the dentist is strongly recommended and safe all through pregnancy. This will help avoid the onset of established and more serious gum problems later and avoid inevitable concerns about bleeding gums.
Routine care such as fillings, etc are best carried out in the second trimester or if absolutely required , in the third trimester though it is likely to be less comfortable to sit in the dental chair for any length of time and for some pregnant women may present with more medical complications at this time. Pregnant women can be reassured about the safety of dental x-rays during pregnancy which are best limited to those needed for diagnosis and taken after the first trimester
Non-routine or elective treatment such as tooth-whitening, any aesthetic or interdisciplinary dental care is best deferred until after the delivery, and in some cases after the early breast-feeding period for safe and optimum results.
In the case of unexpected dental emergency it is prudent to visit your dentist very promptly no matter what stage of pregnancy, and in liason with the obstetrician if required, have the issue dealt with to allay any concerns, discomfort and further complications.
Our dentists will be able to advise on priority dental care during pregnancy and help support a healthy and comfortable pregnancy.

This is one of a series to follow over the next two months.