Dental Treatments During Pregnancy – What’s Safe?

Pregnancy can be a very intense and emotional time for a woman. There’s a lot going on with your body and very few things are able to ease the discomfort completely. The last thing you want is the need for some dental work and the added worry of whether or not you’re able to in your condition. To help our pregnant patients, our local Berwick dental clinic has put together this blog to answer all the questions you might have and to tell you what you should and shouldn’t do when it comes to dental work and pregnancy.

Can I have a dental x-ray?

Whilst dentists may recommend avoiding x-rays if possible – especially during the first trimester – they are not as harmful to your baby as you may think. Modern dental x-rays actually have quite low levels of radiation, and a single x-ray is usually not enough to cause any negative effects in the foetus’ development. On top of this, lead aprons and thyroid guards will be used to shield your baby from radiation if an x-ray is performed – but your dentist will really only insist on an x-ray during pregnancy if it is a serious emergency.


Is anaesthetic safe to have?

Anaesthetic is safe to have during pregnancy if you need it for a dental operation. Just make sure to inform your dentist prior so that the correct anaesthetic can be chosen. Anaesthetics containing felypressin should be avoided as that particular chemical constricts the blood vessels. If anaesthetic is necessary, the lowest concentration of anaesthesia will be administered to you.


Having your tooth pulled out

Tooth extractions are safe to have whilst pregnant but are recommended during the second trimester. Since x-rays are involved, it’s best not to have an extraction during the first trimester, and since you’ll be lying down for a prolonged period, it’s better to not do it during the third trimester either. It should be noted that our Berwick dental clinic only treats tooth extractions as a last resort if the tooth is too badly decayed or damaged. Our trusted dentists always prefer to try and save the tooth when possible.


Can I have braces fitted during pregnancy?

You can have braces fitted whilst pregnant, but it is sometimes recommended to wait until after the birth as there can be complications. Your mouth can change shape during pregnancy due to weight gain, meaning the braces will need to be adjusted or new impressions will need to be made of your teeth for new alignment.

Pregnant women can also experience gum swelling. The swelling can be irritated from the brace wires and brackets. Thankfully there are gels to help numb the pain in this instance, but there is no serious reason for you to stop undergoing orthodontic treatment just because you’re pregnant.


Will a root canal affect your pregnancy?

Similarly with tooth extraction, a root canal procedure is safe to perform whilst pregnant, but should be done in the second trimester – due to the need for x-rays prior. If you need a root canal procedure, do not delay in contacting our Berwick dental clinic.


Is teeth whitening safe to do whilst pregnant?

Whitening your teeth is safe to do whilst pregnant, but your dentist may recommend holding off until after the pregnancy as cosmetic procedures are not dire. If you do go ahead however, it is best to do so during the first two trimesters, as laying still for so long may be uncomfortable during your third trimester.

Alternatively, if you’re using a teeth whitening kit at home, check that the hydrogen peroxide concentration is no more than six percent. If it is higher than six percent then it may cause tissue damage.


Keeping up with personal hygiene

As usual, maintaining your personal hygiene during pregnancy is a must. Brushing twice a day – once in the morning after breakfast and again in the evening before bed – and flossing once a day is still important to do, as pregnant women can have an exaggerated response to plaque build-up which can lead to puffy and tender gums that may bleed when you brush.

If you find that brushing makes you feel sick, using a children’s brush – with a soft and small head – and brushing a little later in the morning may help combat this. It is also important to concentrate on your breathing whilst brushing your back teeth.

Don’t forget to also:

  • Drink tap water – The fluoride will strengthen your teeth and prevent decay. Fluoride will not have any negative effects on your baby.
  • Maintain a healthy diet and make sure to ingest a minimum of four serves of calcium-rich food a day.


Book a dental appointment today

The friendly staff at your Berwick dental clinic Eden Rise Dental are more than happy to assist you with any other questions or queries you might have when it comes to pregnancy and dental treatments.

Please contact us by filling out our online form here. Alternatively, you can get in touch with us at (03) 9702 6111 to book an appointment.