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.