Fact or Fiction: Your pregnancy and your teeth

Raanana Dental Care’s guide to taking care of your teeth while you are pregnant 

Pregnancy can be a confusing time, and with so many myths, superstitions and misinformation surrounding pregnancy and teeth, it’s time for Raanana Dental Care to give you the straight talk to good dental care.  Here are the facts behind ‘the pregnancy and dental care’ myths.

You and your dentist

Myth: You should avoid going to the dentist when you are pregnant.
Fact: False.  Pregnant women should go to the dentist.  Make sure to schedule and keep regular dental visits – for cleanings, exams and just about any treatments you need.  Please keep in mind that during pregnancy you are at a higher risk for gum disease, which has been linked to low birth weights!

Myth: I don’t have to tell my dentist if I am pregnant.
Fact: False! It is very important that the dental staff know you are pregnant, what month you are in and if your pregnancy is high risk.  This information will help them assess which treatment options are the best for you during this period.

You and your teeth

Myth: My pregnancy can’t affect my teeth.
Fact: False. You could be at a greater risk for some dental conditions, such as gum disease, pregnancy gingivitis and pregnancy tumors; these last two conditions can be caused by hormonal changes and are completely treatable.

Myth: The state of my teeth can’t affect my unborn baby.
Fact: False.  If you suffer from gum disease, it may put your developing baby at risk of low birth weight.

Myth: I will lose a tooth each time I am pregnant.
Fact: False.  You will not lose a tooth due to your pregnancy; you may have problems with tooth decay, but regular visits to your dentist and a healthy diet will help keep you and your developing baby healthy and happy.

Myth: My Pregnancy will deplete the calcium in my teeth.
Fact: False.  Neither your pregnancy, nor the fetus can steal calcium from your teeth.  Calcium is found in 99 percent of your teeth and bones and is essential to the fetuses’ proper development.  This means that you should take measures to increase your calcium consumption during your pregnancy, not only for the fetus but also, going forward, to lower your own risk of osteoporosis later in life.

Myth: Vomiting due to morning sickness is harmless to your teeth.
Fact: False.  Occasional vomiting may be simply unpleasant, but repeated vomiting can seriously damage your teeth, as stomach acids can dissolve tooth enamel and weaken your teeth.  If your vomiting is frequent, talk to your doctor to ensure you are getting enough fluids and talk to your dentist about protecting your teeth with a mouth-guard or a medicinal mouth rinse.

Dental procedures during pregnancy

Myth: I should never have procedures that require anesthesia during pregnancy.
Fact: Partially true.  There have been studies that found a link between anesthesia in the first trimester and early miscarriage.  This is why you should tell your dentist that you are pregnant as soon as you know.  Your dentist may recommend that these kinds of procedures be postponed until the second or third trimester.

Myth: I should never have a tooth x-ray while I am pregnant.
Fact: False.  While the American Dental Association considers tooth X-rays safe as the level of radiation is extremely low and your abdomen will be covered by a lead apron to minimize exposure, you should discuss any concerns with your dentist to evaluate your oral health and decide the safest treatment plan for you.

Good dental care before, during and after your pregnancy

If you are considering getting pregnant, make an appointment with your dentist before you get pregnant to assess your dental health and to carry out any procedures that require anesthesia or certain drugs that may be dangerous to your pregnancy.  Maintaining good oral health along with good general health, diet and exercise will help your developing baby and keep you healthy throughout your pregnancy and as you care for your growing family.

Note: The information contained in this blog is general information, please make an appointment with your medical practitioners to fully assess the health of your teeth and your unborn baby.

Raanana Dental Care celebrates International Women’s Day

Raanana Dental Care is an all-female dental practice, founded by three well-established, western-trained Olim dentists: Dr. Anna Jotkowitz (Australia), Dr. Abbe Kellner-Kutno (USA) and Dr. Dena Naeh (USA).  In honor of International Women’s Day on March 8, Raanana Dental Care has dedicated March as Women to Women: Straight talk on DENTAL CARE month.  Read more Women to Women advice on the Clinic’s Facebook page.