For Women: Importance of oral health during pregnancy

The mouth is the gateway to overall health. Receiving and practicing good oral health care is just as important during pregnancy as attending regular checkups.

Hormonal changes to the body during pregnancy can cause oral disease such as gingivitis, which if left untreated can lead to a more serious gum disease. Untreated dental infections can also spread throughout the body, putting you and your baby at risk. Oral health care (X-rays, local anesthesia, etc.) is also safe during pregnancy.

Tips for good oral health:

  • Floss every day.
  • Don’t share your toothbrush.
  • Use an alcohol-free mouthwash that contains fluoride every night.
  • To protect your teeth from acid erosion after vomiting, rinse with a mixture of baking soda and water. (1 teaspoon baking soda to one cup water)
  • Eat healthier foods with less sugar. Sugar is one of the leading causes of tooth decay.
  • Chewing gums that contain xylitol can also help prevent tooth decay.
  • Schedule an appointment with an oral health care professional if your last visit was more than 6 months prior to becoming pregnant.

Information received from Oral Health Care During Pregnancy: A National Consensus Statement by the National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center, Georgetown University.