If you have been putting off your dental care because you have a nursing infant, we have some good news! Dental materials are safe for nursing mothers and shouldn’t harm your infant. This means sedation for you and laser dentistry are safe without your breast milk needing to be pumped and dumped.
Even local anesthetics typically used for dental procedures, such as lidocaine, doesn’t affect breast milk. If bupivacaine is used (which stays in the body longer than carbocaine or lidocaine) it is still safe because the milk levels are “zero”, according to Dr. Thomas Hale, who wrote the reference used worldwide for evaluating medication use in breastfeeding mothers (Medications & Mother’s Milk).
In addition, valium, which is often used as an oral sedative prior to dental procedures, is safe to use because the levels of anesthetic in your breastmilk after the one dose is minimal to zero. Indeed, most medications used in dental procedures via oral and IV sedation is compatible with nursing.
Patients have also inquired about nitrous oxide sedation, and the answer is still yes! It is safe for breastfeeding moms. Virtually insoluble in the system, it is gone within 3-5 minutes after you stop breathing it, as it travels from your brain to your lungs and then back into the room air after you stop breathing it in.
You don’t need to neglect your oral health while nursing your little one. If you have any questions or concerns about safety, please feel free to reach out to our dentists, Dr. Stephen Henry. Our Dr. Stephen Henry DDS team in Foster City, California, can be reached by calling 650-341-5656, and we look forward to helping you with your oral care needs.