Education for Expectant Mothers – Pregnancy and Oral Health


Congratulations on entering this exciting and eventful phase of your life! Pregnancy brings about many considerations, and amidst the busyness, it’s important not to overlook the health of your teeth and gums. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can actually exacerbate certain dental issues. Taking care of your oral health through regular brushing, flossing, and dental visits not only benefits you but also promotes a healthy oral environment for your baby.


Importance of Dental Check-ups: Continuing to visit your dentist during pregnancy is crucial for oral examinations and professional teeth cleanings. Inform your dentist about your pregnancy and any changes you’ve noticed in your oral health. Consistent daily care is vital, which includes brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, cleaning between your teeth once a day, maintaining a balanced diet, and minimising between-meal snacks.


Nutrition Tips for Pregnancy: Did you know that a baby’s teeth begin developing between the third and sixth months of pregnancy? Making wise food choices now can set your child up for a lifetime of good oral health. During pregnancy, your body requires an adequate intake of nutrients, particularly vitamins A, C, and D, protein, calcium, and phosphorous.


Here are some tips for healthy eating during pregnancy:


  • Consume a variety of nutritious foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole-grain products (e.g., cereals, breads, crackers), and dairy products like milk, cheese, cottage cheese, or unsweetened yogurt.
  • Reduce your intake of sugary foods like candy, cookies, cake, and dried fruit, as well as sugary beverages including fruit-flavored drinks, juice, and soft drinks.
  • Opt for low-sugar snacks like fruits, vegetables, cheese, and unsweetened yogurt.
  • Read food labels to choose items with lower sugar content.
  • If you experience nausea, try eating small amounts of healthy foods throughout the day.
  • Stay hydrated with water or milk instead of sugary drinks. If you prefer bottled water, select fluoride-containing options.


Maintaining Healthy Habits


Maintaining proper oral hygiene is an essential part of your pregnancy routine. For most women, routine dental visits are safe during pregnancy, but it’s important to inform your dentist about your current trimester when making appointments. In high-risk pregnancy or with certain medical conditions, your dentist and physician may recommend postponing treatment. Update your dentist about any changes in your medications or any advice given by your physician. The benefits of receiving dental care during pregnancy outweigh potential risks. If you notice any changes in your mouth, such as swelling, redness, or bleeding, be sure to inform your dentist.

Tips for maintaining a healthy mouth during pregnancy:


  • Brush your teeth thoroughly with an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste twice a day.
  • Floss between your teeth daily.
  • Maintain a balanced diet and snack in moderation, if necessary.
  • Schedule regular visits to your dentist for professional cleanings and check-ups.
  • If plaque control is challenging, your dentist may recommend using an antimicrobial mouth rinse at night.
  • If you experience morning sickness and frequent vomiting, rinse your mouth with a mixture of baking soda and water. Avoid brushing your teeth immediately after vomiting, as stomach acids can weaken tooth enamel.

Common Concerns:


  • Gingivitis: Hormonal changes during pregnancy can lead to a condition called “pregnancy gingivitis,” characterised by inflamed and tender gums. Inform your dentist about these changes, as they may recommend more frequent cleanings to prevent further complications.
  • Medications: Inform your dentist about any prescription or over-the-counter drugs you’re taking. Your dentist can consult with your physician to determine the safest medications, such as painkillers.

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