Pregnancy and dental health

Pregnancy is a very important time for expectant mothers which, especially in the case of new mothers, is often faced with certain doubts they have never had before. Although it is true that certain myths are increasingly being discarded, such as that all pregnant women lose a tooth or that babies 'absorb' calcium from the mother's teeth when they are forming, it is normal that during the course of the day certain doubts arise that we have never had before or that we used to take for granted.

For this reason, we have decided to publish this article, in which, in order to make it easier to read and understand, we will try to solve one by one the questions that we are most often asked in our dental clinic. If you are pregnant and you are reading this publication and you have more questions that are not answered here, you can write to us at via this form and we will respond to them and add them here.

Can I wear braces when I am pregnant?

Yes, but with nuances. If you have already started your orthodontic treatment, the opinion of the Spanish Society of Orthodontics (SEDO) is that you can continue with it, always bearing in mind that pregnancy is a time when the risks of suffering gum problems increase and during fixed orthodontic treatment we accumulate more bacterial plaque than normal. If, on the other hand, you are pregnant and you are thinking of starting orthodontics, this is not the time. Wait until you give birth. Many of the tests necessary for optimal and efficient planning of orthodontic treatment are not recommended for pregnant women.

Can I have my teeth cleaned when I am pregnant?

Not only can you do it, but it is also advisable. During pregnancy, gingival problems increase, so a prophylaxis at some point during pregnancy is highly recommended for our oral health.

Can I have an anaesthetic if I am pregnant?

Although in most dental clinics non-vasoconstrictor drugs such as Mepivacaine or Lidocaine are used as local anaesthesia, and that it is done in such low doses that it is very unlikely that it could reach the foetus, the ideal is to carry out emergency treatments and whenever possible in the second trimester of pregnancy. Risks must be assessed, because sometimes the risk that the infection could affect the baby in cases of very serious caries is worse than the risk involved in the application of anaesthesia, and in other cases it is a relatively small caries that can be solved with a simple filling and then it is recommended to wait until the baby is born.

And if I have tooth decay during pregnancy, how do I proceed?

Although this question is very similar to the previous one (read it if you have this question and have not done so), we are going to focus on the role of prevention. The first thing we should mention is that it is advisable to have a dental check-up if you intend to become pregnant, as this will enable you to solve any oral health problems you may have beforehand. Secondly, we must stress the importance of dental hygiene and a healthy tooth free of free sugars during the pregnancy period, when you are more prone to suffering from caries or gingivitis.

My gums bleed during pregnancy, is this normal?

Yes, as we have already mentioned, during pregnancy there is a greater risk of inflammation and infections such as gingivitis and periodontitis, which may cause some bleeding of the gums during brushing. This is due to the fact that the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy increase the permeability of the blood vessels in the oral cavity and reduce the levels of the pregnant woman's defences.

For this reason, specific pastes and mouthwashes are recommended for these associated complications.

Can I have a whitening procedure when I am pregnant?

No, and here there is no doubt. Although there are no scientific studies with sufficient evidence to prove that the peroxide used in whitening in dental clinics can harm the foetus, there is no evidence to the contrary, and what is clear is that tooth whitening is not something that cannot be postponed until the gestation period is over.

What toothpaste do I use during pregnancy?

Although depending on our specific needs and the associated risk of gingivitis that we may suffer, our hygienist may recommend something more suitable for our specific case, the important thing is that we use a toothpaste with fluoride, to prevent the complications derived from the hormonal changes that we have referred to.

Can I use chlorhexidine mouthwashes during pregnancy?

Yes, in fact it is advisable to prevent the associated risk of gingivitis during pregnancy, especially if you already have periodontal problems before pregnancy. They are also a good way to avoid brushing teeth just after vomiting, thus avoiding dental erosion. Although in the latter case we should make sure that they contain fluoride.

Vomiting and pregnancy: a word of advice

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