Pregnancy dental care

Pregnancy is an exciting time, and with so many other things to think about, your dental health probably isn’t the first thing on your mind. However, pregnancy can increase your risk of some oral health problems, including gum disease, sensitive teeth, toothache and TMD (a condition affecting your jaw), making it vital to take good care of your smile.

Toothache during pregnancy

Toothache in pregnancy can be caused by different factors, including vomiting due to morning sickness and hormone-induced plaque build-up. Left untreated, toothache can lead to infection or even irreparable tooth damage.

If you’re suffering from tooth pain during pregnancy, it’s important to visit your dentist. They’ll examine your mouth and may recommend a professional clean, or restorative work such as a filling. Most treatments are perfectly safe for both you and your baby - just ensure you let your dentist know you’re pregnant.

There’s also lots you can do to prevent toothache occurring in the first place. This includes keeping up a good oral hygiene routine, involving flossing daily and brushing twice a day. It’s also important to keep on top of your dental check-ups.

How your pregnancy diet makes a difference

Increased hormones during pregnancy can make your gums more susceptible to plaque. This can lead to inflammation and bleeding, known as pregnancy gingivitis. To help protect your mouth, try to avoid sugary drinks and limit sugary foods to mealtimes.

Your diet can also affect your child’s tooth development, which can start as early as their sixth week in the womb. To ensure their teeth and bones grow healthily, it’s important to get your calcium and phosphate intake. Taking 10 micrograms of vitamin D each day will help, or find out some calcium-rich foods in our pregnancy diet blog.

Free dental care when pregnant

You may know that under 18s are entitled to free NHS dental services (and under 19s in full-time education). But did you know expectant mothers are also eligible, both during pregnancy, and the first year after your child is born?

To apply for free NHS care, you’ll need to request application forms from your midwife, GP or health visitor. You’ll receive a Maternity Exemption Certificate which will remain valid throughout your pregnancy, and for 12 months from your due date (pre-birth applications) or your baby’s actual date of birth (post-birth applications).

For a full summary of your dental entitlement including how to apply, read our blog on NHS dental care: explained.

Which dental treatments are free during pregnancy and maternity?

Clinically required NHS dental services and treatments are free of charge, including dental check-ups, hygiene appointments (scaling), and restorative work such as fillings, extractions and root canal treatment.

During pregnancy, it’s important to keep on top of your dental check-ups and visit the dentist if you have any concerns. If you’d like to book a check-up, contact your local practice offering NHS services, and get in touch.

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Bupa Dental Care is a trading name of Oasis Dental Care Limited. Registered in England and Wales No: 00478127. Registered office: Bupa Dental Care, Vantage Office Park, Old Gloucester Road, Hambrook, Bristol, United Kingdom BS16 1GW.

Oasis Dental Care Limited has a number of trading names including Bupa Dental Care. For a list of all our different trading names please follow this link.

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