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Taking Care of Your Teeth

Sometimes continuing with your normal dental routine during pregnancy isn’t enough. Make sure you see your dentist if you notice any changes, and keep up with your normal routines, including your scheduled dental visits.

It is safe and important to have dental care during your pregnancy

  • If your last dental visit was more than 6 months ago, make an appointment soon and tell the office you are pregnant and when you are due
  • Your dentist may recommend X-Rays if they are needed to provide safe and effective treatment
  • Dental X-Rays, most pain medication, and local anesthetic used to numb your mouth for fillings, are completely safe, even during pregnancy
  • The most comfortable trimester for most pregnant women to have dental care is the second trimester, however:
    • Treatment for serious dental disease (cavities, teeth needing extractions or root canals) can and should be completed at any time during pregnancy
    • Elective treatments, such as whitening, should be postponed until after birth
  • Preventive care is important and can be done at any time during your pregnancy

Home care is key

  • Many women experience gingivitis during pregnancy
  • Swollen and/or bleeding gums, that wasn’t present before your pregnancy, are both signs that you may have pregnancy induced gingivitis
  • To help reduce these symptoms, continue to floss regularly and be sure you are brushing with toothpaste containing fluoride.
  • Good oral hygiene and healthy habits now will have positive effects for both you and your baby

If you notice changes in your mouth that you are unsure of, talk to your dentist

  • Your dentist may decide that you need more frequent cleanings to keep your mouth healthy, they can also provide you with additional tools and resources

Morning sickness can upset more than your tummy

  • After vomiting, there are increased amounts of acid in your mouth which can weaken the enamel
  • Although the first instinct is to brush immediately after, the high acid level can actually cause the toothbrush to damage your teeth further
  • Instead, rinse your mouth with 1 teaspoon of baking soda mixed in a cup of water to neutralize the acid, and wait 30 minutes to brush your teeth

Monitor your diet

  • Be sure you are taking a prenatal vitamin that includes folic acid
  • A healthy diet not only benefits you, but it is also crucial to your baby’s teeth, which begin developing during your pregnancy
  • Vitamins A, C, and D are especially important, as well as protein, calcium, and phosphorous for making your baby’s teeth strong and healthy
  • Drink water – fluoridated water is great to drink during pregnancy, keeping you hydrated and strengthening your teeth

Learn more about taking care of your teeth during pregnancy:

Questions You May Have About Your Dental Health