Tooth tips during pregnancy

Taking extra effort to have good oral hygiene during pregnancy is not only good for you, but for your baby. Tooth tips during pregnancy

General Tips For Good Oral Hygiene

  1. Brush for two minutes, at least twice a day preferably at least once in the evening.
  2. Use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.  If you are keen on home remedies and DIY solutions, you can also use saltwater to brush your teeth and as a mouthwash. 
  3. Brushing before bed is very important; food, sugar, and bacteria sitting on the teeth all night can cause cavities.
  4. Floss once a day to clean between teeth where the toothbrush can’t reach.
  5. Replace toothbrushes every 3 months – or sooner if the bristles start to spread apart.

Tooth Tips During Pregnancy, Why You Should Do More For Your Teeth

Cavities, gum disease and a diet high in sugary foods and drinks can impact the health of both you and the baby. Increasing the number of times a day you brush and floss reduces the risk of getting cavities and gum disease. In addition, eating healthy foods and good daily oral hygiene practices will also keep you and your baby healthy.

During Pregnancy You may experience

  • Swollen, tender and/or bleeding gums.
    • What to do: Saltwater rinses may help with gum infections by drawing out excess fluid in the infected tissues and killing bacteria. 
  • Morning sickness, vomiting and/or acid reflux. This acid puts you at a higher risk of enamel erosion, sensitive teeth, and cavities.
    • What to do: Rinse with water and wait 30 minutes before brushing. Avoid gurgling and if using saltwater for oral hygiene, spit out the water. 
  • Food cravings that may lead you to eat foods that are bad for your teeth both in increased amounts and frequency.
    • What to do: Ensure you eating healthy foods, and limit sugary foods and drinks. Get your folate, iron and other supplementation from your ANC visit. During your ANC visit, talk to your health care provider if you are experiencing pica and eating stones as this may damage your teeth.
  • It is safe and important to see an Oral Health Professional (OHP) during pregnancy.
    • Why? Hormonal changes during pregnancy increase the risk of getting cavities and gum disease. Seeing an OHP early in the pregnancy can help detect/treat any problems early. Visiting an oral health professional ensures you have good oral hygiene habits, and allows you to ask the OHP questions.
    • What to do: It is recommended to see an OHP within the first 3 months of the pregnancy. When you visit them, be sure to tell them you are pregnant.

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Patient Information

This information on Oral Health was sourced, then aggregated and edited by our team of health professionals. The key sources are:

  1. Government of Northwest Territories. (2022). Tooth Tips During Pregnancy. Oral Health Care in NWT. Retrieved July 25, 2022, from

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