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Yes. Taking care of your mouth while you're pregnant is important for you and your baby. Oral health care – including teeth cleaning, X-rays, pain medication, and local anesthesia – is safe throughout pregnancy.
In fact, it's especially important to have a dental checkup, dental cleaning, and any necessary treatment during pregnancy. Delaying necessary treatment for oral health problems during pregnancy could result in significant risk to you and your baby.
Pregnant women are susceptible to gingivitis (inflammation of the gums). If gingivitis isn't treated, it may lead to more serious gum (periodontal) disease and even tooth loss. And the bacteria from a bad tooth infection could spread throughout your bloodstream. Maintaining good oral health reduces the risk of health problems for you and your baby.
Teeth cleaning is part of oral hygiene. It involves the removal of dental plaque from teeth to help prevent tooth decay, gingivitis, and gum disease.
During pregnancy, you should brush your teeth with fluoridated toothpaste twice a day (morning and night) and floss once a day. You should also visit the dental office to have a dental hygienist remove hardened deposits (tartar) not removed by routine cleaning.
When you schedule your appointment, tell the dental office that you're pregnant and your due date. This information will help the dental team provide the best care for you. If your last dental visit took place more than 6 months ago or if you have any oral health problems or concerns, schedule a dental appointment as soon as possible.
If the dental team knows you’re pregnant, they can position you in a dental chair to make you more comfortable and help prevent you from feeling lightheaded. For example, they can:
- keep your head higher than your feet.
- place you in a semi-reclining position, as tolerated, and allow frequent position changes.
- place a small pillow under your right hip, or have you turn slightly to the left as needed to avoid dizziness or nausea resulting from hypotension (low blood pressure).
Here are some Tips for Good Oral Health During Pregnancy from The National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resources Center at Georgetown University.