Dental Work and Pregnancy

Proper dental care before, during, and after pregnancy is important for you and your baby. Pregnancy hormones can sometimes cause the gums to swell, which makes it easier for food to become trapped between teeth. The health of your teeth and gums can affect your growing baby.

DENTAL CARE RECOMMENDATIONS

To help prevent infection and maintain healthy teeth and gums, a thorough oral examination is recommended for all women in the first trimester of pregnancy. Routine cleanings and examinations are recommended throughout pregnancy.

DENTAL CARE CONSIDERATIONS

  • Tell your dentist if you are pregnant or want to become pregnant.  

  • If you are pregnant, routine X-ray exams should be avoided until after your baby is born. However, they do not need to be avoided if you are trying to become pregnant.  

  • If you need an emergency procedure that includes a dental X-ray exam during pregnancy, very low levels of radiation will be emitted from the X-ray machines. Lead aprons can be used for protection of the chest, abdomen, and thyroid.

  • Your dentist will help you weigh the risks and benefits of dental procedures during pregnancy. If possible, it is best to have dental procedures (such as cavity fillings and crown repair) during the second trimester of pregnancy or after the baby is born.  

  • If you and your dentist decide to postpone a procedure for any reason, your dentist can suggest treatment to reduce the chance of infection until the procedure is performed.  

HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS

  • Follow good oral hygiene habits at home.  

  • Brush your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste. Brush thoroughly for at least 2 minutes. Avoid strong flavored toothpastes if you have morning sickness.  

  • Floss at least once daily.  

  • Eat a well-balanced diet low in sugar and carbohydrates.  

  • See your dentist for normal interval oral examinations and cleanings.  

  • If you vomit, rinse your mouth with water afterward.  

  • Make a dental appointment if you experience oral problems.  

  • Follow up with your dentist as directed.  

SEEK DENTAL CARE IF:

  • Oral symptoms such as pain, bleeding, swelling, or inflammation develop or worsen.  

  • You develop growths or swelling in between teeth.  

  • You develop signs of infection, such as:  

  • A fever of more than 100.5° F [38.1° C]).  

  • Chills.