Here's Why You Should See A Dentist When Pregnant

by Olivia Youngs

Once you get pregnant, your to-do list grows exponentially. Between finding an OB-GYN, scheduling doctor visits, planning for your baby's arrival, and taking care of your own health, it's a lot to handle. In the rush of crossing things off your list, don't let your dental health lose its spot. If you're asking "can you see a doctor when you're pregnant," you're already more on top of your game than most.

Even though, more than likely, your teeth won't be taking the front and center place in your mind, you shouldn't neglect your dental health once you get pregnant. Much like the rest of your body's health, every aspect of your body should be at its healthiest for your pregnancy.

One piece from The New York Times explained how, due to outdated thinking, many women don't see dentists during their pregnancies and most OB-GYNs don't check a woman's dental health or refer them to dentists. However, according to the American Dental Association (ADA), maintaining good oral health is directly related to having good overall health, and they encouraged women to have at least one general check-up during their pregnancy.

Similarly, aside from a good cleaning and check to make sure you don't have any cavities that need filling, visiting your dentist during your pregnancy can help treat any pregnancy-related dental issues that may arise. The aforementioned ADA article stated that pregnancy gingivitis, swollen gum (called pregnancy "tumors,") and an increased risk of tooth decay all are issues that many pregnant women face, but many don't receive timely treatment for.

The American Pregnancy Association (APA) pointed out that the second trimester is the ideal time to schedule your dentist appointment, since you'll likely be feeling your best during those weeks. If you wait until your third trimester, you may be uncomfortable lying on your back for long — especially if you need a filling, crown, or other process that can be time consuming.

Of course, if you have a non-pressing procedure that can wait until after you're pregnant, that's the safest route to take, the APA noted. But whether or not you've been in for your annual check up every year, or you've been neglecting scheduling appointments, your pregnancy is the perfect excuse to get back on top of your dental health.