Breastfeeding and Dental Procedures

By Beverly Ann Curtis, APRN, PNP-BC, IBCLC

“My dentist suggested I call my pediatrician’s office and ask how long I have to stop breastfeeding after a routine filling.”

This is a common phone call and question we get at the Breastfeeding Center of Pittsburgh and Kids Plus offices.

Many mothers are concerned regarding any medication they may receive during dental procedures and the affect it has on their breastfeeding infant or their milk supply. Rest assured, dental x-rays, novocain and other drugs used for local anesthesia are considered compatible with breastfeeding; meaning there is no effect on milk supply or on the nursing infant. Most of these medication do not pass into the milk at all or are poorly absorbed, and have no affect on the infant. Medications used for oral sedation or IV sedation are also generally compatible with breastfeeding.

Nitrous oxide sedation (known as laughing gas) is also not a problem for breastfeeding mother since it is rapidly eliminated from the body via the lungs.

Mother who are having oral surgery do not need to pump and dump their milk. As soon as mother is awake and alert she can feed her infant.

Of course, special circumstances and other oral procedures should always be discussed with your dentist or oral surgeon. If your provider needs more information regarding breastfeeding and the medication in question, they can always check with the infant risk center.

For all questions regarding medications and breastfeeding, we encourage families to contact the Infant Risk Medication and Breastfeeding Helpline at 806-352-2519, M-F, CST

Bev Curtis is the former Executive Director of the Breastfeeding Center of Pittsburgh.