Are dental x-rays while pregnant safe? What if you have a toothache or need dental work? Expecting mothers are often advised to avoid certain activities, food and drinks, but what about x-rays? Here's why x-rays at your next dentist appointment are safe for you and your baby.
Yes or No?
Are dental x-rays considered safe and necessary for oral health even during pregnancy? The answer is yes! Dental x-rays use very small amounts of radiation, and the body is further protected by a use of a lead apron that covers the neck and torso. If a dental problem is suspected, an x-ray is the dentist's best diagnostic tool.
Oral Health During Pregnancy
Many dental and medical associations recognize that dental health during pregnancy is key to overall health and to a healthy baby. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists indicates dental x-rays while pregnant are safe. The authors encourage OB/GYNs to conduct prenatal dental assessments on their patients in the first trimester. Furthermore, they recommend advising pregnant patients to visit a dentist for routine care, even if dental procedures require local anesthesia and x-rays. This philosophy recognizes that treatment during pregnancy may help avoid medical complications that may arise from delaying needed dental procedures.
Regular dental visits are important, but it is also key to note that pregnancy itself may cause oral health problems. According to the American Dental Association, when visiting your dentist, be sure to mention if you are pregnant and how far along you are. This way your dentist or dental hygienist can look for signs of pregnancy gingivitis or tooth decay. Pregnancy gingivitis causes gum inflammation and bleeding and is attributed to hormonal changes. If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to a more severe form of gum disease. Decay or cavities may increase if your pregnancy causes morning sickness. The morning sickness may be relieved by a diet high in carbohydrates, and the higher carb intake may contribute to cavities. With vomiting, the stomach acids may weaken enamel, making your teeth more susceptible to decay.
Importance of Good Oral Care
Regular care and healthy oral habits may help to avoid more serious dental conditions. It is vital to brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste using a soft-bristled toothbrush and to floss at least once daily. Colgate Total Clean Mint toothpaste helps prevent plaque, gingivitis and tartar build-up, while its great mint taste leaves your mouth clean and fresh.
If a dental problem arises during pregnancy, your dentist may take an x-ray to help diagnose and provide treatment. It can show cavities, signs of plaque under your gums, or bone loss. Dental x-rays while pregnant are safe, and help catch oral issues before they develop into more serious conditions. Your dentist is there to help you achieve a healthy mouth, body and baby!