Pregnancy and Dental Health
Good dental health is important at every stage of life,
but even more so during pregnancy!
- Visit the dentist regularly
- Brush teeth twice a day & floss daily
- Eat healthy foods
- Practice other good healthy behaviors (exercise, stop using tobacco, drugs and alcohol)
Did you know that it is important to visit your dentist when you are pregnant?
- Schedule a dentist appointment even before you are pregnant or as soon as you know you are pregnant.
- Dental procedures are safe during pregnancy
- Pregnancy gingivitis is caused by the increase of hormones due to pregnancy. Your gums may look red, be swollen and may bleed when you brush your teeth. Tooth decay is an infection. Both can affect you and your baby.
- Watch this short video with tips on how you and your baby can have a healthy mouth.
Visiting the dentist when you are pregnant is safe.
Current guidelines say that putting off needed dental treatment is more risky than it is to have dental treatment, including x-rays. If dental disease is not treated during pregnancy, it can lead to more serious health problems like infection, pain and inability to eat.
Tell your dentist if you:
- Are pregnant, planning to become pregnant or even think you might be pregnant.
- Have had changes in your health or in the medicines you take since your last dental appointment.
- Have been told about any risks linked to your pregnancy or instructions from your physician or obstetrician (OB/GYN).
- Have other medical conditions.
Your dentist can talk with your doctor about any treatment you may need. Have your teeth cleaned and any treatment before you become pregnant. This can help lower your risk of a dental emergency during your pregnancy and other problems.
Taking medication during pregnancy is safe
If you need pain relievers or antibiotics for dental needs, your dentist may talk with your doctor to determine which medicines you can take safely during your pregnancy. If you have any concerns talk with your dentist and doctor.
Routine dental x-rays are generally safe during pregnancy
Radiation from dental x-rays is very low. Your dentist will discuss the need for an x-ray exam if it is needed and will take steps to reduce your radiation exposure.
In Missouri, Medicaid covers dental visits during pregnancy.
Learn more at MOHealthNet.
Don’t have a dentist? Go to Locate Low-Cost Dental Services or ADA Find a Dentist.
What you eat can affect your baby’s teeth
Eat nutritious foods
They provide important vitamins and minerals and contain less sugar, which can damage your teeth.
Eat less foods that contain sugar
Sugar helps bacteria in the mouth cause cavities.
Chew gum with xylitol or sugar free gum
Gum or mints with xylitol helps to decrease the amount of plaque on your teeth and makes it easier to remove the plaque when brushing.
Drink fluoridated water
It is effective in helping to prevent cavities by strengthening your teeth and it is safe for you and your baby.
Morning sickness can weaken tooth enamel
You can rinse your mouth with a teaspoon of baking soda mixed with a cup of water. Wait 30 minutes to one hour before brushing your teeth.
Learn more about dental health and pregnancy
- Diet and Dental Health
- Prenatal Care
- Before, During & After Pregnancy Oral Health (English and Spanish)
- Two Healthy Smiles Tips to Keep You and Your Baby Healthy (English | Spanish)
- Cavity Keep Away Poster (English and Spanish)
- Cavity Keep Away Brochure (English | Spanish)
- Give your Baby the Best Possible Start
- Dental care during pregnancy
Learn more about caring for your baby’s dental health
- Start protecting your baby’s smile by wiping the gums at least twice a day with a soft, clean cloth, after the first feeding and right before bed (English | Spanish)
- Breastfeeding: 6 Things Nursing Moms Should Know About Dental Health
Guidance for Prenatal Care Health Professionals and Oral Health Professionals
Useful Websites and Phone Numbers
Pregnancy and Beyond (Book free for Missouri residents.)
Information specific for newborn infants and children in Missouri.
TEL-LINK at 800-TEL-LINK (800-835-5465)
TEL-Link provides information and referral for maternal and child health care for Missouri residents. Operators
can connect you with community services that are available. TEL-LINK is answered weekdays form 8 am to 5 pm.
Receive timely health messages throughout your pregnancy and your baby’s first year, via text messages or the app. Text4baby is a free mobile educational program. You will receive free messages every week timed to your due date and your baby’s date of birth.
Pregnancy, Breastfeeding, Postpartum
- Breastfeeding Support (800-835-8209)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Healthy Living by topic
- Home Visiting Services
Prenatal and Early Childhood 800-877-6246
- March of Dimes
- Postpartum Depression
- Department of Health and Senior Services (800-219-3224)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Vaccines & Immunizations
- Immunization Action Coalition
Health Insurance, Special Health Care Needs
- MO HealthNet (855-373-4636)
- Insure Kids Now (877-543-7669)
- Children with Special Health Care Needs (800-451-0669)
- American Academy of Pediatrics - Healthy Children
- Bright Futures for Families (888-835-5669)
- Kids Health
- ParentLink (800-552-8522)
- Parents As Teachers
Fnd your local program on this website
- Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans
- Children’s Trust Fund (573-751-5147)
- First Candle (800-221-7437)
- Infant Loss Resources (800-421-3511)
- Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline (573-751-3448 or 800-392-3738)
- Missouri Safe Kids
- Missouri Poison Center (800-222-1222)
- Missouri Safety Belts and Child Safety Seats (888-ASK-MODOT (888-275-6636))
- National Domestic Violence Hotline (800-799-SAFE (800-799-7233))
- Prevent Child Abuse America
- Prevent Children’s Lead Exposure
- Safe Kids Worldwide
- U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) (800-638-2772)
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency