Month four

Talk­ing teeth

Your Pregnancy - - Contents - YP

WHEN YOUR BABY ar­rives, you’ll spend hours ob­sess­ing over teething – it’s a mile­stone in your baby’s life. But cru­cially, the health of your baby can be di­rectly linked to your own set of chom­pers when they’re still in your womb. Your lev­els of oe­stro­gen and pro­ges­terone sky­rocket when you’re preg­nant, and this storm of hor­mones leads to many phys­i­cal changes in your body, which in­clude the oral cav­ity. So, vis­it­ing your den­tist should be on your to-do list. Not sure if it’s safe? Th­ese are the guide­lines…

FOR THE FIRST TRIMESTER

Den­tist Dr Eshaam Ab­du­rah­man rec­om­mends that you check in with your den­tist so they can as­sess the state of your teeth, but doesn’t rec­om­mend any pro­ce­dures be done dur­ing this time. “Some of the anaes­thetic agents and painkillers used in den­tistry have not been proven to be safe in preg­nancy and the sub­stances could af­fect the foe­tus dur­ing this cru­cial stage of de­vel­op­ment,” he says. You should also avoid ra­dio­graphs (x-rays), un­less they are needed to as­sess in­fec­tion or dam­age, he says. “De­pend­ing on the amount of ra­di­a­tion and the stages of preg­nancy dam­age to the foetal cells may re­sult in mis­car­riages or birth de­fects and while den­tal ra­di­a­tion ex­po­sure of the foe­tus is neg­li­gi­ble, it should be avoided,” he says.

FOR THE SEC­OND AND THIRD TRIMESTER

Ly­ing on your back for a long pe­riod dur­ing this phase of your preg­nancy is not rec­om­mended, and a stint in the den­tist’s chair is no ex­cep­tion. En­sure you lie on your left side and el­e­vate the head of the chair to avoid com­pres­sion of the ma­jor blood ves­sels. “Scal­ing, pol­ish­ing and curet­tage may be per­formed in th­ese trimesters if they are nec­es­sary. The con­trol of oral dis­ease is im­por­tant,” says Dr Ab­du­rah­man, but again rou­tine ra­dio­graphs should be avoided. If you do need an x-ray your den­tist will place a lead shield over your ab­domen to min­imise ex­po­sure.

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