Pregnancy and your teeth

Keeping your teeth healthy while you glow

Pregnancy is a time when you can be more aware of your health than ever. And part of that is looking after your teeth.

With an increase of hormones in your body, you could get swollen or sore gums whilst pregnant, which might bleed. Bleeding gums is often caused by a buildup of plaqueA soft sticky substance that accumulates on teeth composed largely of bacteria and bacterial derivatives.. This is often called pregnancy gingivitisInflammation of gingival tissue without loss of connective tissue. or gum disease.

Regular dental checkups are essential while you are pregnant. You can receive free NHS dental checkups* by using your maternity exemption certificate (MatEx) during your pregnancy and for 12 months after the birth of your baby.

Getting your dental routine right

Just as we would advise any adult, the best way to prevent gum problems is to make sure you keep a good oral health routine. This is also important when you are pregnant.

This should include:

  • Cleaning your teeth twice a day – we recommend you do this for two minutes and use a fluoride toothpaste.
  • Try to avoid sugary drinks and snacks – whatever your cravings are telling you! If you do have them then try to limit them to meal times.
  • Avoid mouthwashes that contain alcohol.
  • Stop smoking – this can aggravate gum disease.

Morning sickness can be tough, and make you want to brush your teeth if you are sick. However, brushing will soften your teeth with the acid from your stomach. Rinse your mouth with plain water, and leave brushing for about an hour to combat this.

Visiting your dentist while you are pregnant means they can give you the best advice about keeping your teeth clean at home, as well as advise you as to how often you should visit the dentist during and after your pregnancy.

Even if you haven’t received your maternity exemption certificate, it is important that you let your dentist know if you are pregnant when you visit. There are some treatments that you can’t have while you are pregnant, for example X-rays and amalgam fillings shouldn’t be removed.  

Book an appointment to discuss your personal situation with your local dentist

Book an appointment

Pregnant women brushing teeth at home

*Please be aware that this exemption only applies to NHS check-ups and prescriptions, and is not applicable for private appointments. Please contact your local practice for current, up to date NHS availability near you.

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