Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS)
Finding out you’re expecting is a joyous experience. It’s also a good time to ensure that your family dentist knows you’re pregnant. This is important, because the dental professional will want to tailor your dental care in a way that minimizes any risks for the baby. Here are some of the things the professional can do for you once he or she knows you’re expecting.
Coordinating With Your Other Medical Care Givers
It’s not unusual for family dentists to coordinate their efforts with the other medical professionals you will see during the pregnancy. For example, the dentist may want to share information with your OB-GYN regarding the state of your dental health. When the other medical professionals stay in touch with the dentist, it’s that much easier to determine if delaying some type of procedure is in your best interests, or if it’s safe to proceed.
For example, the dentist may want to know what sort of prenatal vitamins you are taking. The goal is to confirm you are receiving enough calcium between the vitamins and your diet. That’s because calcium has a direct impact on the enamel coating your teeth. By being aware of what those vitamins contain, the dentist can monitor the enamel and make sure it doesn’t show signs of wearing down.
Sticking With the Basics During the First Trimester
Telling your Toronto family dentist about the pregnancy early on helps to set the stage for the type of dental care you will receive during the first trimester. This is important, since a great deal of the baby’s basic development takes place during this period.
In most cases, the dentist will want to only conduct routine examinations and teeth cleanings until the first trimester is over. The exams will help to determine if there is an emerging issue like a cavity that needs to be addressed later. Those cleanings also make it easier to remove residue that could contain unhealthy bacteria. In this manner, the dentist is able to minimize a few factors that could impact the development of the baby.
Paying Close Attention to the Gums for the Duration of the Pregnancy
From the first trimester on, the local family dentist will pay close attention to the condition of your gums. Owing to the hormonal shifts that occur as the months pass, the potential for what is known as pregnancy gingivitis may develop. This causes the gums to swell, become discolored, or to bleed. Since gingivitis in any form is a gateway to periodontal disease, the dentist will want to take action quickly. Doing so is not just necessary to protect your dental health. It’s also essential to preventing infections from complicating the pregnancy.
Your Pregnancy and X-Rays
The team at the family dental clinic will avoid X-rays for the duration of the pregnancy. Even after the first trimester is complete and it’s safer for you to undergo basic procedures like filling a cavity or extracting a tooth, they will consider X-rays off limits unless an emergency arises. As with other precautions, the point is to reduce the risks of any complications and support you to the best of the dental professional’s ability.
Taking Care of Necessary Procedures
While it’s true that some procedures can wait until after the baby is born, other may be necessary to protect you and the unborn child. Family dentists will weigh the pros and cons associated with any type of procedure. They will discuss the reasons to delay procedures as well as why they recommend moving forward.
For the most part, any procedure that lowers the possibility of infection to the baby is likely to be recommended. Taking care of a cavity is a good example. The filling will reduce bacteria and increase the odds of preventing it from spreading to other parts of the body.
When there’s no real danger of infection or other complications, the dental professional is likely to schedule it for some time after you have delivered and had the chance to recover.
Making Choices About Pain Medication
Even if there are procedures the Toronto family dentist feels that you can safely undergo while pregnant, there’s the matter of providing pain medication once the work is done. Expect the dentist to consult with your other doctors to determine what type of medication would not adversely interact with anything else you currently take. The goal is to also focus on medications that are not likely to have any effect on the baby.
Remember that your feedback about how well the medication is working matters. Depending on the results, it may be necessary to adjust the dosage or switch to a different medication. Your dentist will also want to make sure you taper off the pain medication as quickly as possible.
Delaying Cosmetic Procedures Until After the Baby is Born
Rest assured that your local family dentist will want to delay any type of cosmetic procedure until after the baby is born and you’ve had time to recover from the pregnancy. Typically, cosmetic dentistry procedures are not considered essential. For that reason, the dentist may go over some ideas on what sort of procedure to employ after the baby is born, but that’s as far as the process will progress. In the interim, the focus is on making sure your dental health is as good as possible, and that there is nothing going on that could have a negative effect on the child.
Remember that all medical professionals seek to ensure their patients are safe, cared for properly, and have the best possible opportunity to successfully complete a pregnancy. Consider the team at the local family dental clinic to be part of the support network that will help you remain strong and healthy throughout the pregnancy. Follow the suggestions of your dentist to the letter and don’t hesitate to seek help if you notice anything out of the ordinary. With the proper care, you can enjoy good dental health for the entire nine months.
At Smile By Design Clinic, we recognize that taking care of your dental health is crucial, especially during significant life transitions such as pregnancy. Our clinic is your dependable partner throughout this journey.
Andrea Galick is an accomplished Dental Hygienist (RDH) with a passion for helping patients achieve optimal oral health. Andrea has built a reputation as a caring and skilled practitioner who puts her patients at ease and provides individualized care that meets their unique needs.