A pregnant mom is shown at the dentist's office using her enhanced benefits through HMSA
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Pregnancy changes your body in many ways, so it’s not surprising that it can also affect your gums and teeth. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can increase your risk of gum disease.

Any infection is cause for concern when you’re pregnant because it also risks your baby’s health. Untreated gum disease allows bacteria to move from the mouth into the bloodstream. This inflammation can also increase the risk of having a premature, low birth weight baby. Treating gum inflammation during pregnancy can reduce the risk of a baby being born preterm by 50%.

Tooth decay and erosion are also possible because there’s more acid in your mouth than usual, especially if you experience morning sickness often. The higher hormone levels typical during pregnancy can also temporarily affect the tissues and bones that keep your teeth in place, resulting in the loosening of teeth.

Maintain oral health during pregnancy

Here’s how to keep your teeth and gums healthy during pregnancy:

  • Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste and floss every day: Regular brushing and flossing around the gum line can remove plaque and prevent periodontitis and tooth decay.
  • Rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash: If morning sickness makes you feel too sick to brush your teeth, rinsing can wash away acid.
  • Eat healthy foods: Your baby’s teeth start developing during the sixth week of pregnancy and continues through four months. Nutrients like calcium, protein, and vitamins A, C, and D help your baby’s teeth grow strong.
  • Limit sweets: Instead of sweets, drink water and eat healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, and dairy products.

Dental checkups

We know you have a lot to think about when you’re pregnant, but it’s important to include prenatal dental care on your to-do list. Getting regular dental checkups will help you maintain good oral health. Your dentist can treat dental problems that might affect your pregnancy before they become more serious. They’ll also create an oral health plan to help ensure a healthy pregnancy.

Personalized benefits at no additional cost

If you’re expecting, our Oral Health for Total HealthSM program’s preventive dental services, outreach and education, and integrated medical care programs can improve the health of you and your baby.

These valuable services are available to enrolled members at no extra cost when visiting a participating dentist. Program benefits include receiving two additional cleanings or preventive visits per year (a total of four).

If you’re pregnant, you can easily enroll online.

Once enrolled, all you need to do is make an appointment with a participating dentist. You can find a dentist in your plan’s network at hmsadental.com/find-a-dentist.