This document is based on the Recommendations of the Dental Health Committee
of the National Health and Medical Research Council.
Dental examinations and treatment should not be regarded as an isolated episode undertaken
during pregnancy. Dental care is an essential part of health care, which should continue
through childhood, adolescence, the childbearing years, and onwards.
Where necessary for the assessment or treatment of infection or pain, there is no
reason to defer
X-rays during pregnancy if standard precautions such as high-speed films, collimated
beams are used. Lead shielding over the abdomen is not required with modern machines.
Pain or infection
Prompt treatment of infections and/or pain is essential to prevent a rise in body
temperature, and to prevent the release of bacterial poisons.
If required, paracetamol (e.g."Panadol") is the painkiller of choice, and a penicillin
(e.g. amoxycillin - "Moxacin") is the best type of antibiotic. The local anaesthetics
used in dentistry such as lignocaine are safe.
Elective treatment is usually performed in the 4th, 5th, or 6th months ( 2nd trimester
) of pregnancy, and the sessions are kept relatively short for comfort. If you are
having difficulties with your pregnancy, the dentist may discuss treatment with your
Cleaning and topical fluorides should continue to be performed regularly, preferably
in the 1st and 3rd trimesters. Take particular care to keep gums clean and healthy
as they are more susceptible to infection due to the hormonal changes. A balanced
diet following general dietary principles is advised. Food and drinks containing
sugars should be minimised for the mother's dental health.
"A tooth lost for every child.."
This is a myth that is not true. The developing child does not take its calcium from
your teeth, but from your long bones instead e.g. legs, ribs. Teeth are not bone
and do not contain bone marrow. True reasons for the decay relating to pregnancy
can be vomiting of stomach acids during morning sickness, or changes in eating and
oral hygiene habits.