Oral Health in Pregnancy

Caring for your teeth and gums

During pregnancy, your hormone balance changes and if you have some gum inflammation your gums will become more red, swollen and bleed more easily. This is caused by plaque. The bleeding shows you need to brush your teeth better and attend your dentist to have your teeth properly cleaned.

What will help?

  • Continue to brush your teeth twice a day using a toothpaste containing 1500 parts per million (ppm) fluoride and use dental floss
  • Spit out excess toothpaste and don’t rinse as this gives the fluoride time to work
  • If bleeding continues, contact your dental team. Your dentist or hygienist will scale (clean) your teeth and give instruction on brushing and use of dental aids
  • If you experience pregnancy sickness, avoid brushing your teeth for at least an hour as immediate brushing can wear away the top surface of the tooth. Instead, rinse your mouth with alcohol-free fluoride mouthwash.
  • Choose healthy snacks and keep sugary snacks and drinks to mealtimes only when they are less damaging to teeth

NHS Dental Care

It is really important that you should register and attend regularly during pregnancy. At the dental practice the dentist and other members of the dental team will be able to offer advice and provide any necessary treatment.
They will also introduce you to the Childsmile programme after the birth of your baby which will help you look after your baby’s teeth.

NHS dental care is safe and free while you are pregnant and for one year after the birth of your baby.

For more information on how to register with a dentist, phone the NHS helpline 0800 224488, or speak to your midwife.

Last Updated: 21 June 2013
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