Is it safe to go to the dentist when pregnant?

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In a nutshell

Yes, it’s safe, but some treatments may be postponed.

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The expert view

Dental treatment on the NHS is free during pregnancy and for a year after your baby is born, so it’s definitely a good opportunity to make sure your mouth is in tip top shape.

“It is important to look after your dental health when you are pregnant,” says MFM’s GP Dr Philippa Kaye. “You are entitled to free dental care during your pregnancy so be sure to have regular check ups, if you have no problems with your teeth, twice a year is generally fine.”

You just need to make sure you have your Maternity Exemption Certificate, which is issued by the NHS after applying on form FW8 from a doctor or midwife.  

It’s really important to stay on top of dental care during pregnancy, as swollen and bleeding gums – also known as pregnancy gingivitis – can be a downside of being pregnant.

Pregnancy hormones can also make the teeth more likely to be attacked by plaque.

However, as a precaution, it’s normally recommended that some dental treatments are avoided during the first trimester and the last six weeks – although a regular check-up or clean with the hygienist should be absolutely fine, says Dr Kaye.

All elective dental procedures should be postponed until after birth, and the dentist will normally avoid giving you X-rays unless it’s a dental emergency, although these are generally safe (Find out more on X-rays during pregnancy).

The Department of Health also advises against having amalgam (silver) fillings put in or taken out during pregnancy, as the procedure can release mercury.

Mums in our forum say

“I was so brave going the other day for a filling and now I dont have to go back until 6 months. It’s always good to get them sorted when pregnant as pregnancy can affect your teeth awful.” Louise_N

“I’m a dental nurse. there is no reason that you shouldnt have the filling, dentists prefer pregnant women to have white fillings instead of the silver amalgam fillings as they contain mercury. please don’t worry, its perfectly safe.” ashyashy1986

Read more on pregnancy safety:

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