When someone becomes pregnant, it seems that everyone they know—and even strangers on the street—becomes an expert on how to handle pregnancy and parenthood. Most people offering advice are just trying to be helpful, but the overload of information is not only overwhelming, but it can be downright incorrect and sometimes harmful. Separating fact from fiction and science from old wive’s tales on your own can be daunting, so we’ve outlined a few commonly believed—yet incorrect—myths to help you separate fact from fiction!
FICTION: X-Rays should be avoided while pregnant.
FACT: X-rays can be entirely safe for you and your baby.
Advances in X-ray technology have made getting these internal pictures taken much, much safer. A lead apron should be enough to protect both you and your baby from harmful radiation. While the process is medically accepted as safe, the safest time to have any X-ray taken during pregnancy is after the first trimester, so if you are in need of oral X-rays that aren’t time-sensitive, it is best to hold off until later in pregnancy if possible. That said, make sure to always inform your healthcare provider of the pregnancy before getting the images taken.
FICTION: I need to stop taking all medications while breastfeeding.
FACT: Most medications are fine to take while breastfeeding.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has declared that almost all prescription drugs are safe to take while breastfeeding. If you take any medications for your oral health, it’s still best to consult with your dentist and pharmacist first, but chances are you’re safe to continue taking them while breastfeeding.
FICTION: I shouldn’t visit the dentist while pregnant.
FACT: Dental checkups are an essential part of prenatal health.
If possible, visit the dentist before becoming pregnant so he or she can do a pre-pregnancy cleaning and oral exam. This will help your dentist evaluate any changes that happen during pregnancy. It is advised that most women go back for their next check up during their second trimester. If possible, avoid visiting the dentist during the first trimester, as a newly developing fetus is highly susceptible to environmental factors and stressors. Alternatively, the third trimester can be an uncomfortable time for women to lie on their backs for prolonged periods so they may want to visit the dentist before their pregnancy progresses beyond 26 weeks.
FICTION: Women lose a tooth for every child they have.
FACT: Babies don’t absorb calcium from the mother’s teeth.
This old wive’s tale probably has few believers anymore, but it’s still important to dispel. People used to believe that if a fetus was not getting enough calcium, it would take it from their mother’s teeth. In reality, with a good oral hygiene regimen and visits to your dentist, your oral health should suffer very little during pregnancy.
With all of the information available today, it can be hard to figure out what’s best for both you and your baby. Trusting your doctor and scientifically backed data is the best place to start as you navigate the new world of pregnancy and parenthood!
If you have questions about your oral health while pregnant, or want to schedule an appointment with your dentist, give us a call at Trublu Dentistry in Burbank, Chicago, or Hegewisch today!