Breastfeeding and the Dentist

New moms have so many “new” experiences, challenges, and lessons. Going to the grocery store becomes a whole new ballgame! Many mothers who have chosen to breastfeed are often concerned with what limitations they have while at the dentist…our answer: none!  We will listen to your concerns and address every potential issue.

There has been extensive research completed on dental materials and what reaches a mother’s breast milk which we at Life Smiles family dentistry in Plymouth, MN, are happy to say is a very limited list.

  1. Local Anesthesia used to numb an area of the mouth is declared safe by the scientific research. We use lidocaine, the most studied local anesthetic in nursing mothers.
  2. Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas) is insoluble in the bloodstream.  It is rapidly eliminated from the body, within 3-5 minutes of breathing it in.  For your information, we don't use laughing gas at Life Smiles.
  3. Dental Xrays- zero effect on breastmilk.  We will happily entertain your little one while your films are being taken.
  4. Whitening products- the peroxide compound in whitening products is absorbed by the tissue but instantly destroyed so no effect on a mother’s milk.
  5. Fluoride- There is no concrete data on fluoride and breast milk. However, because fluoride is a drug and drugs can be traced in breast milk, we caution the use of excessive fluoride while breast feeding. Regular toothpastes and mouthwashes have a minimal amount of fluoride so they are safe. If your risk for decay is high, we may recommend fluoride varnishes after cleanings to protect the teeth from further decay.
  6. Pain medications and antibiotics: we always recommended speaking to your doctor before taking any time of pain medication or antibiotic while breast feeding due to some antibiotics leaving traces in breast milk. Here is a quick guide to what medication and antibiotic is safe:
    https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/pages/AAP-Advises-Most-Medications-are-Safe-for-Breastfeeding-Mothers.aspx

The most important tip we have for mothers’ breastfeeding is take care of yourself! The risk of gingivitis, cavities, clenching and grinding, and dry mouth increase greatly for new moms. The best thing you can do for you and your new baby is to make sure you are healthy.  Mom's are the number one transmitter of the bacteria that cause dental decay to our children by kissing, sharing cups, etc.   If you keep your mouth cavity-free, your child has a much greater chance of being cavity free as well.