Information for Pregnant Women

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Good oral health is important for pregnant women and infants. The first smile your baby will see will be yours. Make it a great one by taking care of your teeth and gums and seeing a dentist.  en español   

Visiting the dentist

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Dental care options vary based on factors like your age, where you live, and how much money you make. Use the Low-cost Dental Services Guide to help find dental services in your region or call 2-1-1. 2-1-1 is a free help line available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  A live operator will help you find local resources such as dental services. Information is also available in more than 90 languages. For more information, visit 211Texas.org.               

Tips for good oral health during pregnancy

Taking good care of your teeth and gums during pregnancy is safe and smart. During your pregnancy, you may be at higher risk for dental problems that could harm you or your baby. These issues are preventable.       

Practice these habits for healthy teeth and gums for a routine of clean:

  • Start and finish your day by brushing your teeth. Be sure to floss at least once a day, too.
  • If you have morning sickness, don't brush your teeth right after you vomit. Instead, rinse your mouth with a teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in a cup of water. This will stop acid from attacking your teeth and causing cavities. Wait to brush your teeth for about an hour after you've been sick.
  • See a dentist. Feeling nervous or worried? Visiting the dentist while you are pregnant is safe. This includes taking x-rays, most pain medications, and local anesthesia. Talk to your doctor or dentist about any questions or concerns you may have.
  • Tell your dentist you're pregnant when you schedule your appointment. This will help your dentist be better prepared for your visit. As with other doctors, your dentist may ask for a referral from your prenatal provider. This is to ensure your dentist is aware of any special needs you may have during pregnancy.
  • Remember that what you eat can impact your oral health. Avoid foods and drinks high in sugar. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially between meals. Most tap water in Texas contains fluoride, which prevents cavities.

 Download our fact sheet, Tips for Good Oral Health During Pregnancy, to learn more.

Tips for good oral health during infancy

Great smiles are made, not born! Even before that first tooth comes in, take these smart, simple steps to keep your baby's mouth healthy:

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Take your baby to the dentist by age 1.

  • Clean your baby's gums after each feeding by wiping them with a clean, wet washcloth.
  • Don't share cavity-causing bacteria with your baby. For example, don't share utensils or clean a pacifier in your mouth.
  • Look at your child's mouth once a month for white or brown spots and see a dentist immediately if there are signs of cavities.
  • Take your baby to the dentist by age 1 or when their first tooth appears in their mouth.
  • Do not put your baby to bed with a bottle and avoid giving them foods and drinks that contain sugar. This includes fruit juice.

Once your baby's teeth come in, brush twice a day with a smear (about the size of a grain of rice) of fluoride toothpaste for children under age 3. For children ages 3 and older, use a pea-sized amount of fluoride.

Download our fact sheet, Tips for Good Oral Health During Infancy,  to learn more.

Want to learn more about what to expect at baby's first dental visit?

Watch the video, Baby Steps for Tiny Teeth, to learn how to take care of your baby's teeth. It also provides information on what to expect at your baby's first dental visit.

Last updated February 6, 2020