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Dental Care in Pregnancy

You should always let your dentist or hygienist know that you are pregnant or even think that you might be pregnant, and what medications you are taking.

Regular brushing and flossing continue to be important in preventing dental disease. All health care professionals who care for women agree that dental exams during pregnancy are important. Although there are certain treatments or procedures that your dentist might postpone, we encourage you to have your regular cleanings and cavity fillings done as needed even while you are pregnant.

One common concern during pregnancy is the use of oral anesthetics (numbing medicine). You will be happy to know that the safety of these drugs is well studied and considered safe to use during pregnancy. It is also safe to have dental x-rays during pregnancy as the radiation is extremely low and your dentist or hygienist will cover you with a lead apron for additional protection.

There are several other important things to know about your dental health while you are pregnant. The first is that the hormonal changes of pregnancy may cause inflammation and tenderness of your gums. If this happens you may also have some bleeding of the gums. If you have had significant morning sickness with vomiting, the acidity of your mouth will be increased, and this can eat away at the outer layer of your teeth. Because of these pregnancy related changes your dentist may recommend that you have cleanings more often during the pregnancy.

Dr. Cheryl Sharp, Chief Content Officer
Cheryl is a midwife and women's health nurse practitioner who has been caring for women, newborns, and families more than 30 years. She views the opportunity to journey with women through their pregnancy and beyond as a sacred privilege.