Once you’re pregnant, it can feel like your entire focus revolves around your belly and your baby. All kinds of attention are placed on what you eat, what you don’t eat, how much you exercise, how you’re feeling, how you’re sleeping – and so on. All those monthly prenatal visits with your OB or midwife take up valuable time – particularly for working mothers and stay-at-home moms with little ones – and so dental visits often fall by the wayside.

However, skipping dental visits in lieu of prenatal appointments isn’t a good idea.

Dental Visits Keep You & Baby Healthydental health

Since dental visits are typically scheduled every six-months, odds are you have one scheduled during your pregnancy. As your virtual Ob/Gyns, we urge you to keep that dental appointment on the books. If you’re newly pregnant and your dental visit is scheduled for later in the pregnancy, we recommend changing to a more immediate date.

The American Dental Association states:

Getting a checkup during pregnancy is safe and important for your dental health. Not only can you take care of cleanings and procedures like cavity fillings before your baby is born, but your dentist can help you with any pregnancy-related dental symptoms you might be experiencing.

Trying to get pregnant? Let your dentist know

Are you trying to get pregnant or abstaining from using birth control? If so, let your dentist and their staff know that when you come in for your appointment. Since many women don’t know they’re pregnant for weeks or even months into their pregnancy, the staff will use extra precaution when you get X-Rays and for various treatment procedures.

Is there anything usual or high-risk about your pregnancy?

Let your dentist know if there’s anything unusual about your pregnancy, it’s considered high risk, and/or you’re on any pregnancy-related medications. Depending on the recommendations of your care provider, the dentist may skip or postpone certain treatments until after baby is born.

Did you know pregnancy hormones cause changes in your mouth?

True, the bulk of your pregnancy changes are happening in the belly. In the meantime, hormones change the way other tissues in your body behave, including the gums. During pregnancy, gums are more prone to swelling, tenderness and bleeding.

This condition, known as “pregnancy gingivitis,” makes you more prone to full-blown gum disease. If you exhibit these signs, your dentist may recommend brushing and flossing more than usual to keep bacteria out of the gums. In the meantime, it’s more important than ever to brush and floss at least twice a day.

The anesthetics used by dentists are safe for you and baby

If you do find yourself in the position of needing fillings, extractions or other, anesthetic-based dental treatments, don’t fret. Unless it’s an absolute emergency, the bulk of any dental treatments you’d need during pregnancy would only require a local anesthetic. According to a recent study, the use of local dental anesthetics do not post any threat to pregnant women or their unborn babies.

As long as you’re taking time to schedule your prenatal appointments here at Overlake, do take an extra five minutes and schedule a dental appointment as well.