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Chelsea at Crunch Gym

Forty Weeks of Fitness!

Chelsea, our pregnancy fitness expert, is a certified personal trainer at Crunch gym in San Francisco, California. She gave birth to her daughter, Madeira Re, in July 2006. Read more

Dental Care

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According to the American Dental Association (ADA), there is no correlation between receiving amalgam fillings during pregnancy and low birth weight. This is a controversial topic and many people remain unconvinced that silver (mercury) amalgam fillings do not cause health problems. Unless not having a filling poses a risk to your health, wait until after you deliver to have one performed.

Tooth Extraction and Root Canals

A necessary tooth extraction or root canal during your pregnancy is safe. If you have one done, use a local anesthetic if possible.


Local anesthetics such as novocaine or lidocaine are better to use than intravenous or inhaled products. Avoid epinephrine, which is often added to local anesthetics to make them last longer. Women who are given epinephrine run a higher risk of some minor birth defects.

Pain Medications

Avoid non-steroidal pain medications such as ibuprofen (Advil, Aleve) and aspirin while you are pregnant. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is considered to be safe through most of your pregnancy. Stronger pain medications such as codeine or Percodan may be used for less than a few weeks; however, the fetus may be less active while you're on the medication. Narcotics such as these are not recommended for long-term use.


If you have an infection, your dentist may prescribe an antibiotic. Unless you are allergic to them, antibiotics from the penicillin and cephalosporin families are safe to take. Erythromycin and metronidazole are also safe to take. However, tetracycline should be avoided since it can affect the teeth and bones of the fetus.


It is not known whether supplemental fluoride poses any risk to the fetus, and there is conflicting evidence whether taking fluoride supplements while pregnant will actually reduce the number of cavities your child develops later in life. The levels of fluoride found in city water supplies are probably safe for your baby and sufficient for preventing cavities.

The bottom line in dental care during your pregnancy is the healthier you are, the healthier your baby will be. Avoid unnecessary or cosmetic procedures, but don't avoid the dentist. If you have a dental problem, have it taken care of. Always make sure your dentist knows that you are pregnant, and check with your obstetrician if you are unsure about the safety of any procedures or medications.

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