Prenatal dental care

Caring for your mouth during pregnancy

When you’re pregnant, you’re not only eating for two. You’re also brushing for two. Taking care of your teeth and gums may make a difference for your baby’s health, both before your baby is born and after birth.

How pregnancy affects your mouth

Being pregnant can be hard on your teeth and gums. For instance, if you have morning sickness, it can be difficult to brush and floss. And if you’re vomiting a lot, the acid can harm your tooth enamel.

Eating between meals may increase your risk of tooth decay. Plus, hormone changes can lead to an increased risk of gingivitis.1 Gingivitis can lead to gum disease, which has been linked with pregnancy complications.2

How your mouth affects your baby

After you give birth, the health of your mouth may affect the health of your baby. If you have tooth decay, germs from your mouth can be passed to your baby. This can happen when you share a spoon or clean a pacifier in your mouth, for example. Those germs may later cause decay in your baby’s teeth.1

Dental care during pregnancy

To help you have a healthy mouth while you’re pregnant, consider these tips:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day. Use toothpaste that contains fluoride.
  • Floss at least once a day.
  • Rinse daily with a fluoride mouthwash.
  • Choose healthy foods like fruits and vegetables.
  • Limit sugary or starchy foods and drinks.
  • Visit your dentist at least once during your pregnancy. Your dentist can clean your teeth and help control any tooth decay or gum disease. A dental visit is safe anytime during your pregnancy for both you and your baby.

Take good care of your mouth while you’re pregnant. This may help give your baby a great start on a lifetime of oral health.

What to do next

See what checkups and screenings may be recommended for you when you’re pregnant. Look up guidelines at


  1. American Dental Association
  2. American Academy of Periodontology


The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be nor should be construed as medical or other advice. Talk to an appropriate health care professional to determine what may be right for you.

Last reviewed June 2017