Pregnancy and Dental Health
- It is important to maintain good oral hygiene during pregnancy, i.e. brushing twice a day for two minutes and flossing once a day, using ADA seal of acceptance products.
- Use gentle brushing techniques and fluoride toothpaste to prevent damage to demineralized tooth surfaces.
- With morning sickness, vomiting causes increased acid in your mouth which can harm teeth. Rather than brushing immediately afterward to prevent damage from acid, swish and spit with water, diluted mouth rinse or a mixture of one cup water and one teaspoon baking soda and brush 30 minutes later.
- If brushing makes you gag, try changing your toothpaste flavor, using a smaller head toothbrush or rinsing first and coming back to brushing.
- Stick to a mouth care routine as there is a slight increased risk for tooth decay during pregnancy.
- Tooth decay is the result of repeated acid attacks on the tooth enamel, any increase in tooth decay during pregnancy might be from changes in diet (due to morning sickness) and oral hygiene.
- Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy can cause extensive tooth erosion.
- Pregnancy gingivitis is present in greater than 30 percent of pregnant females.
- 1/4 of females of reproductive age have tooth decay.
- Periodontal disease is the breakdown of tooth bone interface and is found in 37to 46% of females of reproductive age and up to 30 percent of pregnant females.
- Pregnancy "tumors" may develop usually during second trimester. They are an overgrowth of tissue on the gums, a swelling between teeth that may be related to excess plaque. They look like a raw looking raspberry, and like pregnancy gingivitis, usually disappear after delivery.
- Baby’s teeth develop between the third and sixth month. You need to make sure to have vitamins A, C, and D as well as protein, calcium and phosphorus in your diet to help promote their tooth development.
- For the health of your own teeth be sure to drink plenty of water with fluoride throughout the day, especially between meals and snacks. Eat a well balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, and lean proteins. Try to avoid excess sugar, sugary drinks and carbonated beverages.
- Chew sugarless gum after eating between brushing.
- While it is safe to visit a dentist, have x-rays (with apron), have procedures, and receive local anesthesia during those procedures, it is best to wait for any cosmetic work to be done until after the baby is born.
- If you haven’t seen a dentist in the six months before becoming pregnant please schedule an appointment ASAP, preferably before 20 weeks gestation.
- Weeks 14 to 20 of pregnancy are the ideal time for dental treatment; however, get any necessary dental work done prior to delivery.
- At the time of labor and delivery, dislodged teeth or prostheses could cause complications.
Mouthhealthy.org Accessed on May 8, 2018
Oral Health Care during Pregnancy and Early Childhood Practice Guidelines NYSDOH August 2016