A lot of changes happen to your body when you are pregnant. Pregnancy hormones, morning sickness and some food cravings can make looking after your teeth more difficult and increase your risk of having dental problems. If you have poor dental health your baby is more likely to have dental problems after birth.  

Tips for keeping your teeth and gums healthy during pregnancy

  • Follow the Australian Dietary Guidelines.
  • Drink tap water every day. Avoid caffeine, alcohol and sugary drinks (includes soft drinks, sports drinks and fruit juice. Try eating fresh fruit instead of drinking fruit juice).
  • Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice a day, morning and night. Use a soft toothbrush and floss daily.
  • If you have morning sickness rinse your mouth with water after vomiting and wipe a little fluoride toothpaste over your teeth. Brushing after vomiting (which is acidic) can wear away your tooth enamel.
  • Visit a dental practitioner either before or soon after you become pregnant for a check-up.
  • Don’t smoke - it can cause gum disease, tooth loss and cancer of the mouth. Talk to a health professional or call the Quitline 131 848 for help with giving up smoking.

What do I do after my baby is born?

  • Breastfeed your baby.
  • Put your baby to bed without a bottle.
  • Only put breast milk or infant formula in feeding bottles and take the bottle away once your child has finished feeding.
  • Use a different spoon to taste your baby’s food.
  • Clean your baby’s dummy with water. Do not use your mouth to clean it.
  • Introduce a cup from 6 months of age.
  • Start cleaning your baby’s teeth as soon as they appear, at around 6 months, using a child-sized, soft toothbrush, but not with toothpaste.
  • Have your child’s teeth checked at all child health visits.
  • Take your child to a dental practitioner by their first birthday.

Oral health resources for pregnant women

Looking for translated resources? Find them on the Multicultural Health Communications Services website.

Current as at: Thursday 26 March 2020