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Oral Health During Pregnancy

The risk of having a premature or low birth weight baby may be reduced if you have healthy gums and teeth.

During pregnancy, it is very important to maintain good oral health (external link) care. Hormonal changes can effect the health of your gums and teeth causing swollen gums that bleed when brushing and flossing. This is called "pregnancy gingivitis" and is quite common.

Usually pregnancy gingivitis disappears after childbirth, however if it continues contact your oral care professional.

Pregnancy & Your Oral Health printable resource (PDF file)
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  • Regular checkups and cleanings by your oral care professional are the best way to detect and prevent periodontal disease (a bacterial infection which affects the bone and soft tissues that support the teeth). It is best for you to have your dental checkup in the first or second trimester. If treatment is required, it can be done at this time.
  • If you have a dental emergency, you should see your oral care professional immediately.
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  • Inform your oral care professional that you are pregnant.
  • Put off routine x-rays until after your pregnancy. However, if your oral care professional feels that x-rays are necessary, the dental office will provide a leaded apron for you to wear while they are taking your x-rays. This will protect both you and your baby during the procedure.
  • Avoid taking drugs or medications while pregnant. If emergency dental treatment requires you to take medication, discuss its use with your dentist and/or physician.
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  • Brush at least 2 times a day using a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss daily to remove plaque from between your teeth and gums.
  • It is good for pregnant women to eat healthy snacks between meals so they can meet their daily nutritional needs. Try to avoid sweet snacks that are high in carbohydrates and refined sugar.
  • Morning sickness (external link) can leave stomach acids in your mouth. Therefore, if you vomit, rinse your mouth with water or a mouthwash with fluoride (which is preferable) as soon as possible. This can help to protect your teeth.
  • Try eating dry toast or unsalted crackers before getting out of bed in the morning to help prevent morning sickness.
  • Continue to have routine dental checkups and cleanings by your oral care professional.
  • Eat healthy and nutritious food.
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  • The risk of having a premature or low birth weight baby may be reduced if you have healthy gums and teeth.
  • Once your baby is born, it is still important to keep your mouth clean. To do this, continue to brush and floss regularly.
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If your family has trouble paying for dental treatment we have financial assistance (order resource) programs to help your kids (under 18 years of age) get dental check-ups, X-rays and solve an urgent dental need.

How do I apply for assistance?

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