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Dental care mythbusting for moms-to-be

Posted on June 6, 2024 in Healthy You

image of smiling pregnant woman

Pregnancy is a whirlwind of emotions and information. Among the many questions expecting mothers have is whether dental care is safe during pregnancy. The simple answer is “yes,” but myths about pregnancy and dental care can lead to a lot of confusion. Here, we break down these misconceptions to help you stay informed and healthy during your pregnancy.

Myth #1: Skip the dentist while pregnant

The American Dental Association recommends regular dental checkups during pregnancy for the following reasons1:

Hormonal changes and oral health: Pregnancy hormones can increase your risk of developing cavities and gingivitis, which is the early form of gum disease and causes inflamed gums. Twice-yearly cleanings and checkups help prevent these issues.
Preterm birth and low birth weight: Research suggests a link between poor oral health and pregnancy complications like premature birth and low birth weight.2

Myth #2: X-rays and medication are unsafe during pregnancy

Modern dental X-rays use minimal radiation and shielding to protect mom and baby. Your dentist will adjust procedures and medications based on your pregnancy stage, ensuring everyone's safety.

Myth #3: All dental procedures should wait until after birth

While some complex procedures might be postponed, many dental treatments can be done safely during pregnancy. Plus, regular dental care increases the chances that your dentist will detect and treat problems before they cause major complications.

Benefits of dental care during pregnancy

Seeing your dentist during your pregnancy will ensure that any problems are identified and addressed early, when they are easier to treat. Good oral hygiene during pregnancy also helps set the stage for a healthier pregnancy, as proper dental care may lower the risk of preterm birth and low birth weight.

Dental care during pregnancy is not only safe but also important for the well-being of both you and your baby. By prioritizing your oral health, you're giving your little one the best possible start. Talk with your dentist about your pregnancy and any concerns you have. They will answer your questions, help clarify any confusion and support you during this special time.


American Dental Association

JDR Clinical & Translational Research