Dental health is something that should be very important to all pregnant and breastfeeding women, but it’s also something that is very misunderstood. I’ve been a dentist for over 20 years, and I can’t count the amount of myths I’ve heard in that time. The trouble is, many of those myths are harmful, and blindly following them can lead to serious issues. That’s why I’ve put together this list of the top 3 dental myths while pregnant or breastfeeding, and what you should do instead of following them.
You Can’t Go To The Dentist While Pregnant
This is not only untrue but can actually be dangerous. It’s encouraged to continue going to the dentist throughout your pregnancy and after, as not going can leave you open to serious infections.
You should continue going to the dentist and taking their advice on treatment. If your dentist prescribes treatment it’s very likely to be more dangerous to you and your baby’s health to not follow it. Many procedures are safe, so talk to your dentist if you have any concerns and they will be happy to alleviate them.
Oral Health Isn’t Important
While many people will concede the importance of taking care of your teeth, many don’t realize exactly how important it can be. The fact is that your dental health has a large impact on your overall body health, and letting it lax can bring further complications to your pregnancy and after.
A good example of this is the common oral issue of gum disease and its link to causing premature births. This is a serious issue during pregnancy and can be linked directly back to oral issues in your mouth. This is just one example as there are countless other ways issues in your mouth can impact the rest of your body.
X-rays, medications, and Anesthetics are Dangerous
Lastly, there’s a misconception that a lot of the common things associated with dental care are dangerous to pregnant and nursing women. While that may be true in some cases, the truth is that the majority of items your dentist might recommend are perfectly safe.
In the case of medications and anesthetics, many of these are safe for use while pregnant or breastfeeding. Do make sure to let your dentist know your situation so they will be able to make sure to only prescribe and use drugs that are tested and safe.
X-rays are another category that can scare many women, because of the radiation. The truth here is that the amount of radiation used in an X-ray is safe, even for pregnant women. That said, talk to your dentist as many times X-rays can simply be rescheduled until after the pregnancy. For breastfeeding women, an X-ray will have no effect on their ability to do so.
Knowledge is half the battle, and knowing how to separate fact from fiction is important. Armed with this new knowledge, you’ll be better able to know the dos and don’ts of oral care while pregnant or breastfeeding.