Dental care is prenatal care: Simple steps to keep mom’s and baby’s mouths healthy

Floss, Brush, Drink Water

Floss daily, brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, and drink lots of water. Fluoridated water is best. Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel.

Combat Morning Sickness

Do what you can to reduce the acid in your mouth (it can damage your teeth). Eat small amounts of nutritious snacks during the day. If you vomit, rinse your mouth. Put 1 teaspoon of baking soda in a cup of water and use this to rinse. Spit after rinsing. Do not brush right afterwards; this can damage the surface of your teeth.

Don’t Pass Cavities on to Your Baby


Cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth can cause cavities in your baby’s teeth later. Moms with untreated tooth decay or gum infections can pass cavity-causing bacteria to their babies through such things as kissing, sharing utensils and putting baby’s pacifier in their mouths. Go ahead- kiss your baby! Just be sure you’re cavity free.

Snack Smart

Foods high in sugar and carbs such as bagels, juice, and gummy snacks stick to your teeth and feed the cavity-causing germs that live in the mouth.

Your teeth need a break. After eating, germs make acid that attacks your teeth for 20 minutes, so try to avoid grazing on carbs or sipping on sweetened drinks all day. If you have a snack eat it all at once and then brush afterwards. If you can’t brush, rinse with water (especially fluoridated water).

Instead, choose tooth-healthy snacks such as fresh fruit, vegetables, cheese, yogurt, nuts, whole grains, and lean meats. Learn more about smart snacking here.

Chew Gum with Xylitol

Xylitol is a natural sweetener that reduces the cavity-causing germs in the mouth. Your dentist or hygienist may recommend rinses with fluoride or chewing gum with xylitol, which reduce bacteria that cause tooth decay. Chew it four to five times a day, especially after eating.

Go to the Dentist

Go to the dentist while you are pregnant to make sure your mouth is healthy.

Get necessary treatment before your baby is born and take care of your mouth after your baby is born.

Treatment including fillings, x-rays, and certain medications are safe during pregnancy. Tell your dentist or hygienist that you are pregnant and when you are due.

Learn more about finding and paying for dental care here.

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