– Hi, it’s Dr Shehan from Dentists of Ivanhoe Central. Today I’ve got my beautiful wife Tracy with me who is currently five months pregnant with our first child. Tracy, what were some of the things you really wanted to know about your teeth when you found out you were pregnant?
– Well, I heard that the pregnancy could effect my teeth and my gums and also that the baby can suck the calcium from my teeth. That part didn’t sound true.
– Not quite Tracy. Most women will experience some form of bleeding from their gums due to hormonal changes but their teeth themselves won’t change. Losing calcium from your teeth is one of the many myths surrounding pregnancy.
– So how comes so many women get cavities and holes in their teeth during pregnancy?
– Well, this is largely related to an increase in their sugar intake in their diet, a reduction in their brushing and flossing habits and also the morning sickness that most women suffer from.
– So should I go and see the dentist now or should I wait till after the pregnancy?
– It’s really important to have your teeth checked and cleaned regularly, especially during your pregnancy. As untreated gum disease has been linked to premature birth.
– Okay, what about X-rays, are they safe?
– Yes, they are, the current Australian guidelines state that we shouldn’t delay taking necessary X-rays during your pregnancy. We would also use a lead apron, such as this one, to cover your belly, for peace of mind and added protection.
– Okay, so if I get a toothache, what should I do?
– You should definitely go to your dentist and also for pain relief, you can take things like paracetamol and codeine. Something like Panadeine will work really well. Make sure you avoid things like Advil, Nurofen or Voltaren. If you have an infection, your dentist can still prescribe you antibiotics such as penicillin safely.
– So when’s the best time to go to the dentist?
– If possible, try and have your dental treatment done in your second trimester, although we can safely treat you in the first and third trimester as well.
– Right, well I better book myself in then. Thank you so much, Shehan.
– You’re most welcome Tracy.
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