Dental Health During Pregnancy
There are many myths about dental health and pregnancy. Although you have a
lot to think about during this time, oral health is important during pregnancy
and should not be neglected.
The following facts are true and will help to improve your dental health
during your pregnancy!
- Nutrition is very important during pregnancy because your baby gets
nutrients from your system. By eating right, you can start caring for your
babys teeth as soon as you find out you are pregnant. Be sure to include
foods with calcium and vitamin D in your diet. Your doctor can give you
information to help you eat well during pregnancy.
- Some women have dental problems during pregnancy. Hormonal changes can
make your gums sore, swollen and bleeding. This can be prevented by brushing
and flossing your teeth daily. If you did not have your teeth cleaned before
you found out that you were pregnant, having your teeth cleaned by a dental
hygienist or dentist early in your pregnancy may help prevent most gum
- Some women develop a pregnancy tumor on their gums. This is a
painless bump on your gums that can be pink, red or purple. It will usually not
cause any problems, but care should be taken to keep the area around the tumor
clean. See your dentist if you think you may be having this problem.
- Dental problems also can be caused by snacking more often. When the snacks
are sweet, tooth decay or cavities occur. It is important to snack less often,
or eat sweets at the end of a meal instead of between meals.
- It is important to see your dentist and dental hygienist during your
pregnancy to prevent dental problems. Be sure to make a dental appointment
before your baby is born. After birth, it may be several months before you will
be able to find the time for an appointment.
- If you need to have emergency dental care during your pregnancy, you may
need to have some X-rays taken of your teeth. Always be sure to remind your
dental care professional of your pregnancy. Care should be taken to limit or
avoid nitrous oxide, some prescribed antibiotics and some pain medications.
Your dentist can contact your obstetrician with any questions.
For more information, contact
Illinois Department of Public Health, Division of Oral Health
535 W. Jefferson St., Springfield, IL 62761
217-785-4899, TTY (hearing impaired use only) 800-547-0466
NOTE: This fact sheet was derived from one previously published by the
Arizona Department of Health Services.