What medications should I avoid during pregnancy?
Many over-the-counter drugs may have warning labels that alert you to the use of the product before, during and even after pregnancy. We encourage you to consult with your doctor and dentist to discuss any of the risk vs. benefits of the medications.
- Antibiotics – are prescribed with caution to prevent or treat infections. Only those that are known to be safe such as penicillin, amoxicillin, and clindamycin should be used during your pregnancy. There is also an antibiotic called tetracycline that is routinely avoided since it can cause permanent staining to your baby’s developing teeth.
- Chlorohexadine – is a germicidal mouth rinse that is used to treatment gingivitis or gum disease. It is considered safe to use throughout pregnancy.
- Lidocaine – is an anesthetic used to numb your mouth tissue and can be safely administered during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Only the lowest amount necessary will be used to make you comfortable enough during treatment. Although some dentists may consider the use of nitrous oxide (laughing gas) safe, we do not use it for expecting mothers.
It is a good idea to to consult with your OB/Gyn before your dental appointment. Take note of any special medications or caution your OB.GYN prescribes. This will decrease the likelihood of drug-drug interactions come your dental treatment with Dr. Jaleel.
Can I whiten my teeth during pregnancy?
There is not a enough reliable data available yet concerning the use of products to whiten your teeth during pregnancy. Until we know more about whether it poses a significant risk to your baby, we advise against teeth whitening during pregnancy and the breastfeeding period.
Are x-rays safe during pregnancy?
Today’s advances in technology have made the new dental digital x-rays much safer. In fact, the radiation exposure is so low that you can take 1 digital x-rays for every 10 of the old, paper-type dental film. Dentists will usually hold off taking any x-rays until after your pregnancy, however, in the event of a dental emergency or infection, an x-ray may be necessary.
Safety precautions will be taken, and, if possible, the dentist may wait until your second or early part of your third trimester to take an x-ray or begin treatment. The use of a lead dental apron with thyroid collar is a standard practice in dentistry, so make sure one is used and is fastened snugly.
Word of Caution…
According to several studies that have been published in the Journal of Periodontology, there is evidence that women with gum disease are more likely to have premature or low birth weight infants. Gums that are free of disease are important in having a healthy mouth and a healthy body.
By practicing a few healthy steps you can help reduce the likelihood of dental problems during your pregnancy:
- Brushing your teeth at least twice a day
- Flossing at least once daily
- Rinsing and gargling with an antiseptic mouth rinse recommended by your dentist.
- Reducing the frequency of snacking in between meals.
- Maintain a well-balanced, health diet avoiding sugary snacks as much as possible.
- Maintain regular dental hygiene care.
Can I get dental treatment done during my pregnancy?
If possible, arrange to visit with Dr. Jaleel, one of the top family dentists in Ottawa, for an examination before you become pregnant. In doing so, any treatment or cleanings that are advised can be done before conception. The second trimester is the safest time for a routine check-up/cleaning and any recommended, non-invasive treatment.
When routine and preventive dental care is avoided, dental emergencies are more likely to occur. Through good, preventive care most dental problems associated with pregnancy can be minimised or avoided.