Activate ReciteMe accessibility assistance Download this page Print this page

Oral Health During Pregnancy

It is a myth that being pregnant is bad for your teeth, however, the physical changes that happen in pregnancy, along with the needs of a growing baby, means that it is especially important to take care of your oral health.

This is because:

• The negative effects of plaque (the layer of harmful bacteria that clings to teeth if not cleaned regularly) are greater during pregnancy.
• Cravings for sweet food/drinks can increase sugar intake.
• Being sick can increase acid levels in the mouth.
• Feeling sick and retching making tooth brushing more difficult.

 

  • When you are pregnant the food and drink you eat is important for keeping your teeth and gums healthy.

    Your diet is also important for your baby’s teeth which begin to form in their gums from the sixth week of pregnancy! By the time babies are born all the teeth they will ever have are already in their jaw.

    To keep teeth and gums healthy;

    • Replace fizzy and sugary drinks with lots of tap water - it has fluoride already.
    • Avoid sugary snacks - if you crave sweet foods try and keep them to mealtimes.
    • Eat foods rich in calcium – like milk, cheese or yogurt.
    • Take Vitamin D (10 micrograms daily) to help keep strong bones and teeth.
    • Choose fresh fruits rather than sweets and chocolates if you crave sweet foods.

  • Tender, red, swollen or bleeding gums are signs of gum disease. Gum disease puts your teeth at risk of decay and if not treated will cause tooth loss. At any time these symptoms should be discussed with a dentist. 

    Gum disease allows a route for bacteria to get into the bloodstream. Some research has shown this can increase the risk of early birth. To keep gums healthy;

    • Clean your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste.
    • Floss your teeth to remove food debris.
    • See your dentist when you discover you are pregnant – discuss any symptoms you have noticed.
    • Follow advice and treatment recommended by your dental team.
    • Reduce sugary foods and drinks - keep them to mealtimes.
    • Stop smoking as this reduces the oxygen supply in the blood that keeps gums healthy.

  • If pregnancy is making you sick;

    • Rinse your mouth with water after each time you vomit.
    • Use an alcohol free fluoride mouthwash.
    • Wait about an hour after being sick to brush teeth (due to stomach acid on the teeth) and use a fluoride toothpaste.
    • Drink lots of water.

    Feeling sick and brushing your teeth

    If you feel sick or retch a lot in your pregnancy, tooth cleaning can be a trigger. It is really important to try and keep your teeth clean. You could try;

    • Using a smaller, softer toothbrush.
    • Brush later than usual if your sickness improves during the day.
    • Concentrate on breathing in and out slowly as you brush.
    • Try a different toothpaste brand or flavouring.
    • Brush with water and use fluoride mouthwash on days when sickness is really bad.
    • Whenever possible stick to twice daily brushing with a fluoride toothpaste.

     

  • NHS dental care is free during pregnancy and for a year after your due date.

    Ask your Midwife or GP for an MatEx form (FW8) to take to your dentist.

    If you don't have an NHS dentist *Click Here* to find one near you.

    Tell your dentist if you are, or think you might be, pregnant when you make your appointment.

Who Can Help?

You can contact the Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.

If you are 11-19 you can text ChatHealth on 07480635060 for confidential advice from one of our team.

*Click Here* to speak to other Norfolk parents and carers on our online community forum. 

 

Log In / Create an account

  • RT @NorfolkCC: Libraries in Norfolk are more relevant than ever – helping people stay well, find work and update their skills – a new repor… NorfolkCYP / 21 February 2020
  • RT @ccs_nhst: 📢📢Attention all #NHS staff!📢📢 Don't forget to let your patients know about the National Data Opt-Out by March 2020! Click her… NorfolkCYP / 21 February 2020
  • Today is #LoveYourPetDay! For many people, pets are a big part of the family! We have a page dedicated on… https://t.co/kvAWyjcV6m NorfolkCYP / 20 February 2020
  • Wellbeing Webinar for Parents! Self refer here: https://t.co/XKw7JLMxo3 or speak to your health visitor! https://t.co/PnzYwmy5CL NorfolkCYP / 20 February 2020
  • We had this photo sent in from some soon to be parents who had the brilliant idea of loading up the Pathway to Pare… https://t.co/RFejHrcR9o NorfolkCYP / 19 February 2020
  • Do you want to connect with other local parents? Sign up to HealthUnlocked and get involved with our online communi… https://t.co/VQFr22jL1r NorfolkCYP / 19 February 2020
  • Session 2 of our pathway to parenting online course covers feeding and caring for your new baby! Watch the videos o… https://t.co/XUadxLn9tb NorfolkCYP / 18 February 2020
  • What another fantastic result in our staff survey 🥳🥳🥳🥳 @NorfolkCC @SJ_LS @NorthNorfolkCCG @SouthNorfolkCCG… https://t.co/GFankJKLqL NorfolkCYP / 18 February 2020
  • Happy half-term! If you are 11-19 and need advice, #ChatHealthNorfolk is still available to text. Just TEXT 074806… https://t.co/tZtEmfkOWo NorfolkCYP / 18 February 2020
  • No time to call? You can send a text to #Parentline and one of our clinicians can offer you advice over text. Just… https://t.co/mQQuMbjGyV NorfolkCYP / 17 February 2020

Our Partners

Close the mobile menu