Improving Oral Health for Pregnant Women

A healthy pregnancy includes good oral health

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Access to dental care during pregnancy is critical for both mother and baby. Experts agree a healthy pregnancy includes good oral health.

  • During pregnancy, a bad tooth or gum infection can create serious health problems for mom, and potentially baby too.
  • After delivery, moms with tooth decay can pass cavity-causing bacteria to their babies and toddlers by sharing utensils, and cleaning pacifiers in their mouths. If moms have untreated tooth decay it greatly increases the possibility that their babies will get cavities before age two.
  • Tooth decay is easily preventable and babies with good oral health are more likely to enjoy a lifetime of better oral health. Cavities in baby teeth can spread to adult teeth.

Oral health needs to be part of prenatal care for all pregnant women. That’s why we:

  • Train and motivate dental professionals to provide preventive care and treatment for pregnant women. Since 2010, we have trained more than 1,400 dental professionals to deliver care to pregnant women.  
  • Raise awareness about the importance of dental care during pregnancy, so pregnant women talk to their prenatal medical providers about their oral health, seek dental care, and take care of their mouths at home by brushing, flossing, drinking water instead of sugary drinks, and eating healthy foods.
  • Train obstetricians, midwives, and other prenatal providers to screen for problems, educate patients and refer them to a dentist for care so that all pregnant women have healthy mouths before giving birth.

Prenatal dental care puts moms and babies on the path to better oral health for the rest of their lives.

Contact Nicole Woodruff, if you would like to learn more about our prenatal work or schedule a training.

Order free educational materials for pregnant women here.

The best way to prevent cavities is to start early, before babies are born