FAQ CATEGORIES

Dental treatments during breastfeeding

So much information about breastfeeding and dental care are around on the internet that it is hard to know what is going on. According to some, it is bad to get dental treatments, and according to others, it is perfectly normal. We looked at some scientific studies, and not chat room wisdom or FAQ website banter, to get to the bottom of this issue. Without further ado, here is a list of dental treatments you can get while breastfeeding.

Hygiene session, check-ups

Not only can you get these, but these are absolutely mandatory. Why? Because your teeth will have deteriorated during pregnancy, and a hygiene session will bring your chompers back up to the level they were before pregnancy. The session is completely safe, and involves no chemicals, but will remove bacteria from the mouth. An untreated infection can transfer to the milk.

Fillings

Completely safe and sometimes very necessary. To let a filling go unfilled can result in problems, like infections or undue pain, which will affect our breastfeeding. The procedure is done under local anaesthetic, which does not enter the breast milk, and is absolutely no problem. The other concern was the mercury content of amalgam fillings, but as amalgam is no longer used in most dental practices, this is not a problem. Getting old amalgam fillings replaced with composite resin, or tooth coloured fillings (also called white fillings) is a good idea because it removes mercury from your system. The amount of mercury is not bigger than the background amount anyway, so this is not too big of a concern, in case you can only access amalgam fillings.

Extractions

Tooth extractions are a little bit tricky, as they involve local anaesthetic or sedation. Opt for the local anaesthetic, as this does not affect breastfeeding. There are usually painkillers and other medications, sometimes antibiotics prescribed after an extraction. Make sure that you talk to your dentist, and let them know that you are breastfeeding, so that they can provide options that are safe for you and your baby. Ibuprofen and paracetamol are both completely safe pain medication drugs to take for breastfeeding mothers.

Tooth whitening

There is no good information available on tooth whitening sessions, and if the new compounds that are being used have any effect on the milk. Studies are still being compiled, so until a final verdict is in, perhaps it is best to stay away from tooth whitening until a study has definitively proven whether or not it is safe.
Crowns, bridges
These procedures are usually done without any anaesthetic, but even if local anaesthetic is used, the procedures are completely safe both for baby and for mother.
Dental implants and oral surgery
There can be complications during surgery, so it is best to get oral surgery and dental implants after you are done breastfeeding, and the child is completely weaned. The shock of surgery and the recovery period (healing time) may cause a lull in milk production, which can lead to the child weaning itself before an optimal amount of time has been spent together.

Image: 1.