Are dental cleanings neccessary? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 21 Old 04-04-2009, 09:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Someone tell me they aren't.:

I HATE the dentist. When I was 12, I had five teeth pulled. It was so incredibly painful and horrifying...I couldn't feel much pain but I heard the grinding as they yanked my teeth out...watched the guy put all this strength into it.

When I was 14, I got braces. When I was 16, my parents couldn't afford them. So I had braces on for a year with no maintenance, then at 17, they finally found an orthodontic student at a local university who would take them off for me...another horrible experience.

I haven't been to the dentist in 4 years, since right after I got those braces off. The OB I saw in early pregnancy told me that 'poor dental hygiene is linked to premature babies'...which I think may have more to do with the fact that a lot of people who have 'poor dental hygiene' (which I think I have excellent dental hygiene) might have other risk factors in general...or is there really some connection? And at 30 weeks, does it really matter?

If I am meticulous about my teeth (I ALWAYS brush 2-3 times a day, and floss often) and have no pain or anything, do I NEED to go to the dentist?

The only thing that concerns me is that my gums are bleeding, which I've heard is common in pregnancy because of extra blood flow, and ever since that started, I've been sure to floss at least once a day.

Single mama to S ~ 6/09

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#2 of 21 Old 04-09-2009, 08:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Nobody has any advice??

Single mama to S ~ 6/09

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#3 of 21 Old 04-09-2009, 08:47 PM
 
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I would recommend going to a sedation dentist. You'll probably have to wait until after your baby gets here, but it's worth it!
A lot of dentists will set you up with nitrous oxide (laughing gas) for dental visits. I won't let them in my mouth without it. It wears off quickly and I can drive myself home afterward.
When I've had root canals done, I have taken Halcion plus the nitrous.
If the dentist isn't willing to work with your needs, find another.

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#4 of 21 Old 04-10-2009, 12:04 AM
 
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I think the dentist is pretty important. Good oral hygiene is linked to heart health, among other things. If your gums are bleeding, I think it warrants being checked by a dentist.

I hate the dentist, too. I have had more teeth pulled than I can count, braces for 5 years, and oral surgery. My grandmother always said that taking care of your eyes and teeth is the most important. FWIW.

Good suggestion to go to a sedation dentist!
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#5 of 21 Old 04-10-2009, 12:34 AM
 
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aw, poor mama. after what you've experienced, of course you would not enjoy going to the dentist. i do believe in cleanings, at least once a yr. if only for the fact that my teeth look and feel so nice afterwords!

i would look for dentist who offers laughing gas, and other comfort measures. you may even try looking for one who advertises for people who are afraid of the dentist-we have a place here that does that-they offer all sorts of extras and extra time and attention to help you thru procedures. i havent been myself, but they have a great reputation. maybe there's something similar where you live?

Erin, 33, salty southern mama, sitting by the sea with my DH35, DD10, DS4, &DD2!
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#6 of 21 Old 04-10-2009, 03:00 AM
 
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Mama, I don't have any scientific evidence to back up my actions, but I haven't been for a cleaning since I turned 18 and my parents stopped forcing me. I go to the dentist when I'm in pain and, believe it or not, the dentist has found much fewer problems now than in those first 18 years when I went for yearly cleanings.

I was always in a huge amount of pain for days and sometimes up to a week after "cleanings," not to mention the emotional trauma. Dentists are a profession where they forget that they work for you, and not the other way around. You're paying for a cleaning, not insults and pain.

I know I've got a cynical view on it, but I've had no major problems since I stopped going. I simply brush daily and don't think about it.

For the bleeding gums, I'd consult my doctor first, and then if he says go to a dentist, find one that will cater to you.
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#7 of 21 Old 04-10-2009, 11:59 AM
 
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My vote is DON'T GO to the dentist! Especially not while you're pregnant. Your body might pick up some mercury while there if it's an office that does mercury fillings.

My dentist says that how much cleaning a person's teeth need is very individual; some people build up a lot of tartar and some people never do. So, depending on your personal mouth chemistry, you might benefit from a cleaning twice a year--or twice a decade!

I'm skeptical that dental cleanings are necessary or urgent.

The bleeding gums might be nutrition-related. Try eating some more foods that contain high levels of vitamin C.
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#8 of 21 Old 04-10-2009, 05:44 PM
 
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I think what is important is caring for your teeth. You can probably do that with or without regular dental visits. My family goes to the dentist regularly because I just don't know enough to handle it all myself. Problems are caught early with regular dental visits, and even if you choose to treat the problem on your own, you at least have help with the diagnosis. We've only dealt with small cavities and I feel confident that it will stay that way if we get regular dental exams. If you feel comfortable that you are adequately caring for your teeth, then why go?
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#9 of 21 Old 04-14-2009, 07:20 PM
 
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You might just learn how to do the cleanings yourself. You can buy the tools on ebay for a few bucks.

I don't think they're necessary. I just had my first one in 8 years and it turned out I didn't have any horrible build up or cavities anyway.

Homeschooling mom of two plus baby R born December 16 love.gif
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#10 of 21 Old 04-19-2009, 01:36 AM
 
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My gums bled every time I was pregnant. Three pregnancies. And stopped as soon as I wasn't pregnant any more.

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#11 of 21 Old 04-21-2009, 08:41 AM
 
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I would go with individual. I have to go every 6 mos., or I get buildup. I am anal about my teeth, and I still need them cleaned. My dentist is very good, never insults anyone, and the best part is no dental hygenists. If anyone reading this is one, I mean no offense, but they are usually the worst part. The treat you like a damned child:.

My dentist also doesn't use his tools as much as he uses his sonic thingy (goodness knows what it's called), so no pain! He uses it to loosen everything, and then the tools to move it away. He also does sedation dentistry if you need it. So I believe the dentist is important, but that is me. If I had your traumatic experiences, I would be extremely hesitant also.

Head covering Pagan-Quaker mama to 6yo DS, and DH. Recent WAHM www.napleshealthadvisers.com
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#12 of 21 Old 04-21-2009, 10:09 AM
 
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I don't personally go to cleanings. Nor do anyone in my family.
I do eat a pretty health diet outlined in the book from curetoothdecay.com. I just saw that the author has a specific book for pregnant mothers. Can't wait to get a copy.

I know about the gums bleeding while pregnant. I find myself giving and giving, and not taking care of my immune system. I have upped my camu camu (natural source of vit C) since I am pregnant, and my gums are looking great.

It is really a personal decision for you to not go to a cleaning, but I just prefer to stay away from dentists (especially while pregnant). Just remember that if you don't go to a dentists, you do need to make sure you have great nutrition especially while pregnant because that can suck loads of nutrients from your teeth and gums and you may end up with cavities. I am increasing my calcium, magnesium, CLO, butter oil and nettles infusion since I am pregnant. I want to keep all my teeth, and I want my baby to have great teeth. The building time is now for their teeth.
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#13 of 21 Old 04-21-2009, 10:21 AM
 
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I go because our benefits cover it, but honestly, they just twitter around in there and say "wow, you have very little build up for how long it's been since your last appointment!"

Some tricks I've happened by: Q-tips work wonders for taking off plaque!! Just use a couple for a cleaning and work like you're erasing away the plaque (a cotton shirt sleave will work in a pinch too ....okay, that's my biggest/only one aside from brushing, flossing, and making the mouth alkaline after eating (we use xylitol).

Though I admitantly have done no research on it, my gut says that the link to heart/health problems is that there are other underlying factors that cause a link and that the two are corrilational, not causational. Not going to the denstist doesn't have to equal poor dental health.

Laurie, wife to guitar.gifDH (Aug/04), mom tobikenew.gifDS1 (Nov/05) and bfinfant.gifDS2 (June/12).

 

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#14 of 21 Old 04-21-2009, 07:27 PM
 
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I believe cleanings are necessary if you have plaque build up etc. Gum disease is a major cause of tooth loss.

Bleeding gums are common during pregnancy. My dentist recommended stepping up oral hygiene and seeing the hygienist. Gums should return to normal within 12 weeks of giving birth.
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#15 of 21 Old 04-21-2009, 07:33 PM
 
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I go every 7 years, very little build-up, no problems since I got my adult teeth in. I just brush twice a day, nothing else.
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#16 of 21 Old 04-25-2009, 10:26 AM
 
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i think it is really important to take care of our gums and teeth. if it is important to you to receive dental care, with your history, i would shop around until you find a dentist who will be gentle and kind with you.

there are some great dentists (admist the horrible ones!) thankfully, you just have to keep searching.

Midwifery student , Mama to my 4 amazing kids. treehugger.gif

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#17 of 21 Old 01-05-2010, 05:41 PM
 
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Your gums are bleeding b/c you're pregnant, my nose used to bleed too! It's just the increased blood flow. You'll be fine after it's gone, just see

I don't go for cleanings b/c I found after every cleaning I got cavities. I go when I have a cavity to fill, which has been only 1 since I stopped the cleanings.

Best of luck!

SAHM to 2twins.gif (twin DDs, 6). One on the way Aug 14' joy.gif!!! Looking forward to (again!): belly.giffemalesling.GIFbfinfant.giffamilybed1.gifcd.gif Looking forward to (1st time!): stork-suprise.gifhomebirth.jpgplacenta.gifencapsulation!
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#18 of 21 Old 01-05-2010, 05:53 PM
 
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Everyone has their own opinion, but I think dental visits are very important.

Regular visits are for much more than just cleaning. A good dentist checks mouth, tongue, gum, and tooth health, looking for signs of not just tooth decay but also periodontal disease and oral cancer. (And yes, periodontal disease is linked to preterm babies, even controlling for health care.) Also, teeth naturally shift over time; a good dentist checks your bite and jaw movement to avoid TMJ, headaches, and other problems resulting from misalignment. These are some of the issues that won't cause pain or other problems until they've progressed significantly, at which point reversing the damage may be difficult or even impossible.

It's easy to neglect your oral health if you don't have problems; but years of neglect can lead to permanent tooth loss or gum damage, which can have a HUGE impact on quality of life. And if you do decide to see dentists infrequently, I would like that to be a decision based on your health history and needs and not based on fear.

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#19 of 21 Old 01-05-2010, 05:58 PM
 
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I absolutely think the dentist is very important. And, mercury fillings are rarely if ever used today. So, I don't think you need to worry about that.
Here is a very helpful page http://www.colgate.com/app/Colgate/U...Pregnancy.cvsp

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#20 of 21 Old 01-06-2010, 02:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mosaic View Post
Everyone has their own opinion, but I think dental visits are very important.

Regular visits are for much more than just cleaning. A good dentist checks mouth, tongue, gum, and tooth health, looking for signs of not just tooth decay but also periodontal disease and oral cancer. (And yes, periodontal disease is linked to preterm babies, even controlling for health care.) Also, teeth naturally shift over time; a good dentist checks your bite and jaw movement to avoid TMJ, headaches, and other problems resulting from misalignment. These are some of the issues that won't cause pain or other problems until they've progressed significantly, at which point reversing the damage may be difficult or even impossible.

It's easy to neglect your oral health if you don't have problems; but years of neglect can lead to permanent tooth loss or gum damage, which can have a HUGE impact on quality of life. And if you do decide to see dentists infrequently, I would like that to be a decision based on your health history and needs and not based on fear.
Very well said. Deteroirating oral health is also sometimes the first signs of other problems. Yes periodontal disease has been linked with both preterm labor and heart disease.

Jeana Christian momma to 4 sons Logan 18, Connor 15, Nathan 6, and bonus baby Jack 1
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#21 of 21 Old 02-16-2010, 04:48 PM
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I was coming on here to ask this very same question. I like my dentist, and have had lots of issues with my teeth, and have just accepted that and all the work/surgeries that have been necessary.


But after my reg cleaning visit today, where I was as usual told my teeth look great, and then they scraped the crap out of them and made all my gums bleed and I cried and vetoed flossing or polishing, I had an epiphany . . . see how this rings for you OP.

If I vow to continue to care for my teeth as best as I can at home, and get informed about other things I can do to support my teeth, could I not schedule check-ups, not cleanings, every 6 months or year? So afer my cleaning my dentist comes in and checks me out. That to me is the useful part, that he feels around, looks for signs of anything, etc . . . so why not ditch the painful scraping and cleaning and simply get the check-up?

I know some will post that the scraping serves a purpose, and I do not deny this, nor am i dissing dental hygeinists (sp?). but I am no longer able to ignore my gut feeling that subjecting my body to that torture every year is not a necessary evil, and there is another side to this issue.

Thoughts?

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