Expectant mothers have a great deal on their minds as they grow a tiny human (or multiple tiny humans) inside their wombs. Of course, the worries of a mother never cease, and when a child is miraculously born into the world mothers have different concerns to keep them busy. Mothers who choose to breastfeed their babies must take extra precaution to continue to monitor what they allow into their bodies. Substances such as alcohol, tobacco, and other chemicals can affect the quality of their breast milk, thus affecting their nursing babies. Women who are breastfeeding and need dental treatment are often concerned how medications used during treatment will affect their milk. At Group Health Dental, we are committed to providing exceptional care to all our patients, and we want to help clarify guidelines for mothers who are breastfeeding healthy, full-term babies.
- Local anesthesia – Local anesthesia is injected directly into the location which requires care. It is given in a small dosage to numb the exact area where treatment will be given. Given in such a small amount makes it very unlikely that it will pass into a mother’s milk supply. If any does enter the supply, it will be so diluted that it will have no effect on the baby.
- General anesthesia – General anesthesia is administered through the blood stream. This carefully controlled substance is given based on a person’s weight so that just the right amount will be used. Once a person is taken off general anesthesia, the effects wear off quickly and the medication leaves the body quickly. In fact, by the time a mother is awake and cognizant enough to hold her baby, the amount of anesthesia in her system will not be enough to affect her breast milk.
- Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) – This is a medication commonly used as an oral sedation, and it is insoluble in the blood stream. This medication is inhaled and goes from the mouth and nose directly into the lungs and is expelled into the air within the room. The rapid elimination of this medication eliminates almost all possibility of it crossing over into a mother’s milk supply.
- X-rays – While not a medication, many breastfeeding women worry about radiation affecting their breast milk. During any X-rays given at the dentist’s office, a lead apron will be lain across the body for protection to prevent any exposure.
At Group Health Dental, we respect nursing mothers’ concerns. There is an InfantRisk Center hotline that we encourage you to call for any further concerns: (806) 352-2519.