How Pregnant Women, Diabetics, and Young Children Can Benefit from Dental Care
Consistent dental care is important for individuals of all ages, and daily brushing and flossing will only help to preserve the quality and brightness of the smile. Semiannual visits to a dental health care professional for tooth cleanings and oral exams are also important, but there may be some age and illness-related conditions that may make these visits appear unnecessary or intimidating. Our office has worked for decades with patients from all walks of life, and these are among the four most common questions we have heard about whether visiting a dentist is advisable.
- Can Pregnant Women Receive Dental Care?
Pregnancy is usually not that great of an issue when going to the dentist. There is always a concern with dental X-rays, so we tend not to take X-rays when a woman is pregnant. If there is an emergency and we need to take an X-ray, we can “double drape.” We use lead aprons that will protect the fetus. In addition, most obstetricians tend to tell us not to use anesthetics in the first trimester, especially those that contain vasoconstrictors.
- Is Diabetes a Limiting Factor? People who live with diabetes are more prone to gum disease. The condition is a common cause of loss of teeth in adults who have diabetes, and it is important for the dentist to know this. Also, diabetic people have some reduced healing properties, so precaution must be taken if there are any surgical procedures that must be performed in the mouth. It is always beneficial to know these facts so that we can prepare and do what we can to help our patients.
- Are Infants Able to Benefit from Visits to Dentists?
Despite the common recommendation by pediatricians that infants at the age of one year should begin to visit dentists on a regular basis, it is difficult for dentists to treat children that young. Our office advises parents to look at their children’s teeth and only schedule appointments with dental professionals if they see any issues.
- At What Age Should Dental Care Begin? We recommend that a two- or three-year-old child be in attendance when a parent is having her or his teeth cleaned. We let the child sit in the chair in the corner with a toy or a book, and the child can watch her or his mother or father in order to feel more comfortable. If the child is receptive, we put the child in the chair and count her or his teeth. Sometimes we even give the child a ride in the chair. If parents closely monitor the amount of sugar that their children eat and do not provide bottles of milk at bedtime, the risk of children at these early ages to develop problems will be minimal.
With the exception of the very young, exams and cleanings from a local dentist are essential to maintaining oral health. An infant may not benefit much from a visit to a dentist because her or his teeth have barely begun to erupt (grow in) and the infant’s age makes it challenging for a dentist to complete a thorough inspection of the oral cavity. For everyone else, however, our office is able to anticipate our patients’ needs and how to best meet them. Even if you are pregnant, diabetic, or a toddler, a comprehensive tooth cleaning and oral exam will help you stop dental issues in their tracks and maintain a healthy mouth.
If you’re experiencing gum problems, contact our highly recommended Buffalo dentists today for relief.