Dental Work and Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a time to pay special attention to your oral health. The health of your mouth can affect your growing baby. Pregnancy hormones can sometimes cause gum swelling and make it easier for food to become trapped between teeth.

Tell your dentist if you become pregnant. Proper dental care before, during, and after pregnancy is important for you and your baby.

DENTAL CARE RECOMMENDATIONS

To prevent infection and maintain healthy teeth and gums:

  • Routine cleaning and examination are safe and recommended during pregnancy.

  • A thorough oral examination and preventive oral hygiene education are recommended for all pregnant women in the first trimester of pregnancy.

DENTAL CARE CONSIDERATIONS

Routine X-ray exams should be avoided until after your baby is born. It is not necessary to avoid X-ray exams while trying to become pregnant or while breastfeeding.

Your caregiver 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 dental caregiver decide to postpone a procedure for any reason, your dental caregiver can suggest treatment to reduce the chance of infection until the procedure is performed. If you need an emergency procedure that includes an X-ray exam during pregnancy, very low levels of radiation are emitted from dental X-ray machines. In some cases, the risk of infection spreading to the baby is greater than the small risk of radiation exposure, especially after the first trimester of pregnancy. Lead aprons are necessary for the protection of the chest, abdomen, and thyroid. Lead aprons act as a barrier to the radiation. Postpone cosmetic procedures until after the baby is born.

HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS

  • Follow good oral hygiene:

  • Brush your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste. Brush 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 oral examination and cleaning.

  • Rinse your mouth with water after vomiting.

  • Make a dental appointment if you experience oral problems.

  • Follow up with your caregiver as directed.

SEEK DENTAL CARE IF:

  • Oral symptoms develop or worsen.

  • You develop growths or swelling in between teeth.

  • You develop a fever (more than 100.5° F [38.1° C]) or other signs of infection, such as chills or feeling unwell.