Only 3 Out of 5 Women Get Dental Cleanings During Pregnancy
Are dental cleanings during pregnancy safe? Even though it is common knowledge that dental care is important, and while 90-percent of women report understanding that they should take care of their teeth and gums during pregnancy, a new study published in BMC Oral Health shows that only 60-percent of pregnant women opt to get dental cleanings.
Researchers found that women who understand how important dental care is are 1.4 times more likely to go to a dental cleaning appointment while pregnant, which shows that it is important to educate expectant mothers. However, uptake is still not as high as it should be.
A large percentage of women who understand the importance of dental care during pregnancy still did not get the care they need, according to the authors of the study, which was conducted by the public health department of Brigham Young University College of Life Sciences, in Provo, UT.
Effective Ways of Reducing
Risk of Poor Oral Health
Dental care is an effective way of reducing the risk of poor health and poor pregnancy outcomes, and this is why healthcare professionals advise women to visit their dentist during pregnancy. Many women fail to do so, and there are many reasons for this, including whether or not a healthcare professional spoke to the woman about oral hygiene, and whether the woman had dental insurance. The study looked at the behavior of around 2,800 women who took part in the 2014-2015 Utah Pregnancy Risk Assessment and Monitoring Survey.
Why Do Women Seek Out Treatments
or Go for a Cleaning?
Lack of dental insurance was one of the main reasons why women did not seek out treatments or go for a cleaning. Women with dental insurance were more likely to visit the dentist for both services.
Of the women who did go to the dentist during pregnancy, 70 percent of them had a healthcare professional advise them about taking care of their teeth and gums. The women who received such advice were more likely to acknowledge the importance of taking care of their teeth.
Young women, minorities, those with less education, the unmarried and those with lower incomes were less likely to seek dental care. This information could help to guide future education campaigns and outreach.
Importance of Dental Cleanings During Pregnancy
The researchers acknowledge that the PRAMS is cross-sectional and has just a 60% response rate, which means that there could be some response bias. Finding a relationship between teeth cleaning both before the woman got pregnant, and during the actual pregnancy, since the researchers asked about dental care during pregnancy and 12 months prior. However, since some women were unsure of exactly when they became pregnant these results may not be completely accurate.
The authors conclude that education about dental care is important and that dental or healthcare workers should speak to women about how to properly care for their teeth and gums, as well as impress upon all women the importance of having dental insurance so that they can access dental care facilities at the times when they need them most.
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