Debunking myths about receiving dental care while pregnant

It's safe and important for you to receive dental care while pregnant.

We all know how crucial it is to have medical care while pregnant. But did you know it’s a good idea to receive regular dental care during your pregnancy, too? Unfortunately, myths and misconceptions persist about whether it’s safe to get dental care while pregnant. Read on to deconstruct four common misconceptions – and learn one important truth.

Myth 1: It’s okay to skip routine dental care while pregnant

Receiving regular dental care is always important – even during pregnancy. Routine checkups and teeth cleanings while pregnant help ensure a successful pregnancy and prevent common oral health issues. When left untreated, these can escalate into more serious conditions, such as a weakened immune system, a stroke, or heart disease, and can impact your pregnancy by causing premature birth and low birth weight. Your oral health significantly contributes to your whole health – including when you are pregnant.

Myth 2: Pregnancy doesn’t affect oral health

The body undergoes many changes during pregnancy, which may include changes in the mouth, teeth, and gums. For example, nearly 60 to 75% of pregnant women have gingivitis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This early stage of periodontal disease can make gums red and swollen. When gingivitis goes untreated, the bone that supports the teeth can be lost and the gums can become infected.

Myth 3: Dental treatments should be postponed until after pregnancy

Postponing necessary dental care until after pregnancy can worsen oral health problems. This can lead to discomfort and even potential problems for both mom and baby. That’s why it’s essential for pregnant women to continue receiving necessary dental treatments and routine dental care. The American Dental Association recommends you let your dental team know how far along you are in your pregnancy and share your due date. This can help them plan appropriate care and check for signs of issues related to your pregnancy.

Myth 4: Mom’s oral health doesn’t influence baby’s oral health

You might think that a mom’s oral health has no bearing on her child’s oral health. But children of mothers who have untreated cavities are three times more likely to have cavities themselves. What’s more, poor oral health can impact a child’s schooling. Children with poor oral health are nearly three times more likely to miss school. If you have cavities or experience dental pain while pregnant, make an appointment with your dentist.

Truth: Getting regular dental care while pregnant is safe for both mom and baby

The most important truth is that maintaining good oral health is vital for mom and baby. As such, keeping up with routine dental care is a building block of a healthy pregnancy. If oral health is neglected during pregnancy, it can lead to premature birth and other pregnancy complications.

The good news is that Blue Shield of California dental plans come with preventive care benefits, and many include an extra teeth cleaning during pregnancy. These are 100% covered with a $0 copay when seeing in-network dentists and even include one additional cleaning for pregnant women.

If you already have a Blue Shield dental plan, log in to your account to view your dental benefits. You may also call the Customer Service number on your Blue Shield member ID card to confirm what’s included in your plan.

Ready to schedule a checkup?

Call your dentist to make an appointment. Don’t have a dentist? Search our high-quality network to find a dental provider in your area.

Need dental coverage? We have a variety of individual and family dental plans to choose from that give you access to one of the largest dental networks in California.

Maven Maternity Program

Get 24/7 dedicated virtual support, content, and community throughout your pregnancy journey. Maven is included at no extra cost in most Blue Shield health plans.

Benefits that benefit you

Our dental plans include a variety of preventive services at no extra cost. These include oral exams, regular cleanings, preventive X-rays, and fluoride treatments.

Maven is independent of Blue Shield of California and is contracted by Blue Shield to provide maternity benefits including care advocacy, virtual consultations, coaching, and education. Maven is not intended to replace your in-person providers. Maven® is a registered trademark of Maven Clinic Co. All rights reserved.

Blue Shield of California does not provide medical or dental advice. This information is for informational purposes only.