Should You Skip The Dentist When Pregnant?

Being pregnant comes with a lot of lifestyle changes. You probably already know that you need to stay away from alcohol and other beverages while pregnant, limit your caffeine, and avoid raw fish, but per Healthine, you also need to steer clear of wet paint (so have someone else paint the nursery for you), hot tubs and saunas (no matter how bad the back pain gets), and even kitty litter, which carries a rare disease that is harmful to pregnant woman.

With so many things to avoid during those 38 to 40 weeks, it can be hard to keep track of what you can and can't do. You are also spending a lot of your time in and out of your doctor's office, so making the time for anything else can be tricky. But, there is one thing you don't want to skip and that's the dentist. In fact, it may even be more important now than ever to take a trip to your dentist and schedule your cleaning. Here's why.

Don't skip the dentist while pregnant

According to the American Dental Association, certain dental conditions are actually more common while you are pregnant. This is due to hormonal changes that may promote gingivitis and even increase risk of cavities due to snacking or — if you are one of the unfortunate bunch — consistent vomiting.

You may be so tired at the end of the day that you just want to crawl into bed, but don't skip your teeth brushing. The ADA recommends brushing for two minutes with a soft bristle toothbrush, but even if you are consistent with your at-home dental routine, it's still important to take a trip to the dentist. In fact, according to the American Pregnancy Association, gum disease can lead to preterm birth, so ensuring you are getting a good, professional clean is not only vital for your health, but for the health of your baby as well. But, while it is highly recommended to visit the dentist, not every type of dental work is recommended while pregnant and some treatments are recommended to wait until you are out of your first trimester. 

You may want to wait until your second trimester to see your dentist

The first trimester of pregnancy is vital. According to What to Expect, your baby grows arms, legs, and feet during the first six weeks and will even develop their digestive system, eyesight, and sense of touch. Because of all this development, doctors suggest that pregnant women delay certain things until they are safely out of their first trimester — one of those things is dental work.

While seeing your dentist is highly recommended during pregnancy, you may want to wait until your second trimester, if possible, before getting a cavity filled or getting a crown, per the American Pregnancy Association. Any type of emergency dental work, of course, should not be postponed. When it comes to more cosmetic treatments, like teeth whitening, the APA recommends waiting until after the baby is born.

As for X-rays, if they are needed for an emergency surgery, don't fret: they are completely safe while pregnant. Even so, your dentist will likely wait until after you have the baby to do any routine X-rays (via HealthPartners).