Note from Rebecca: Today’s guest article on frequently asked questions about dental sedation while breastfeeding comes from Dr. Amanda Tavoularis over at Dentably. Check it out to get all of your questions answered.
As a new mother, everything you do is with your baby in mind, and you want to make sure that anything you put into your body is safe for both you and your baby.
One thing that many mothers have concerns about is dental sedation and if it is safe for them and their little one while nursing.
As a female dentist who’s been practicing for more than 20 years, it’s my goal to educate new mothers on their dental health including everything they need to know about dental sedation while they are breastfeeding.
Is Dental Sedation Safe While Breastfeeding?
Many mothers ask if they are able to be sedated for dental procedures while nursing. Luckily, most medications used for oral sedation are considered compatible with breastfeeding as well as nitrous oxide sedation.
Nitrous oxide is a common sedation method used for patients and is virtually insoluble in the bloodstream meaning that you won’t pass any of the chemicals onto your baby. It goes from your brain to your lungs to the room around you immediately after you stop breathing it in and it’s rapidly eliminated from the body.
The chances of your newborn son or daughter ingesting nitrous oxide orally via milk is very unlikely. For more invasive surgeries such as wisdom teeth removal, you will need to receive conscious sedation through an IV.
Most of the time this is also safe as very little of the drugs used for IV sedation are transferred to breast milk. In fact, very few medications have adverse effects in breastfed babies because the dose transferred to the milk is so low.
What If I Need to Feed During a Dental Procedure?
Most dental procedures and surgeries should not have to interrupt your breastfeeding schedule.
To minimize your baby’s exposure and for your comfort try nursing right before you go in for the procedure. After your surgery, you will be able to nurse again as soon as you feel alert and strong enough to hold your baby.
The amount of medication in your bloodstream will be low enough at this point that the amounts in your milk would not be significant enough to transfer to your baby.
Can I Breastfeed After Having Dental X-Rays or Fillings?
Nursing mothers also ask about routine dental procedures that may not require sedation.
Things like dental x-rays or cavity feelings may seem like they will interfere with breastfeeding and their milk supply. However, x-rays, Novocain, and other dental medications are considered safe with breastfeeding and shouldn’t have an effect on your milk supply or your baby.
You can continue receiving these treatments as normal without worrying about you or your baby’s safety.
If you’ve recently had a baby, you may be wondering what is safe and what’s not as you transition into your new life. Receiving dental care can cause concerns for nursing mothers who may not know if certain medications will pass through their breast milk and be transferred to their baby.
Luckily, you can still receive dental care and oral surgery while you are nursing as most medications will not pass through the bloodstream or will be such a low dose that they will not pass onto baby.
Remember to always keep you and your baby’s health a priority and enjoy this new and exciting time with your little one.