Healthy Teeth for a Healthy Pregnancy
Why dental health is important when you’re pregnant.
Did you know that keeping your teeth and gums in top shape is important during pregnancy?
Some studies show that there may be a link between gum disease (periodontitis) and premature birth. Lack of good dental habits has also been associated with low birthweight, preeclampsia and gestational diabetes. Eating a healthy diet while pregnant can help baby’s teeth develop. So, taking care of your teeth means you’re taking care of your growing baby.
The rising hormones in your body can cause several dental issues. These include tooth decay or loss, loose teeth, sore or swollen gums, and more.
You can keep your mouth healthy while you’re pregnant. Just follow these tips:
- Go to the dentist for a checkup and cleaning.
- Brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, and floss daily.
- Eat a healthy diet of fruits and veggies, whole grains, low-fat or nonfat dairy products, and lean proteins.
- Avoid snacks and drinks that are high in sugar.
- If you have morning sickness and are throwing up, rinse out your mouth with water, or water mixed with a teaspoon of baking soda. The excess acid can harm teeth.
While exhaustion may tempt you to skip brushing and flossing, don’t give in. Remember, taking care of your pearly whites is good for your health, and your baby’s.
By Ginny Greene, Contributing Editor
For more information, please visit Optum's Health Library
American Dental Association. Pregnant? Nine questions you may have about your dental health. Accessed September 28, 2018.
American Dental Association. Healthy dental habits to practice during pregnancy. Accessed September 28, 2018.
American Dental Association. Nutrition tips for pregnancy. Accessed September 28, 2018.
American Dental Association. MouthHealthy.org. Healthy dental habits to practice during pregnancy. Accessed September 28, 2018.
Last Updated: September 28, 2018
The information provided is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be medical advice or a substitute for professional health care. You should consult an appropriate health care professional for your specific needs and to determine whether making a lifestyle change or decision based on this information is appropriate for you. Some treatments mentioned may not be covered by your health plan. Please refer to your benefit plan documents for information about coverage.