Oral health resources

Advice for pregnant women


Pregnant women who have a current concession card do not have to go on a waiting list to see a public dentist. You will be given the next available appointment. Find out how to make a public dental appointment.

Visiting a dentist while pregnant is highly recommended for your own wellbeing and that of your unborn child.

Routine dental treatment is safe during pregnancy, although some procedures or medication should be avoided in the first 3 months, so be sure to tell your dentist you are pregnant.


Eat well

Pregnant woman - Eat well

  • Your growing baby's calcium demands are high so you should increase your own calcium consumption to compensate. Eat calcium-enriched foods such as dairy or soy alternatives.
  • Eat a nutritious diet every day including fruits, vegetables, grains, beans and lean meats.
  • Try not to eat too many sweet foods.
Pregnant woman - clean wellClean Well
Pregnant woman - drink wellDrink well
  • Drink lots of tap water, especially if fluoridated.
  • Drink non-sweetened dairy milk or calcium-fortified alternatives. Calcium is important for your baby's bones and teeth.
  • Try not to drink too many sugary drinks.
Protect your unborn baby's health

It is important to keep teeth and gums healthy during and after pregnancy to:

  • Stop gum disease that could lead to premature birth or a low birth weight baby.
  • Stop transfer of decay-causing bacteria from you to your baby. Your child will be less likely to suffer early childhood decay.

Looking after your baby's oral health >>


Morning sickness, vomiting and acid reflux

Pregnant women who experience morning sickness with vomiting and/or acid reflux are at high risk of tooth erosion*.

To reduce risk of tooth erosion and damage to your teeth after vomiting/reflux you can: 

  • Rinse your mouth immediately with water or a mouth rinse. (e.g. Add a teaspoon of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) to a cup of water to rinse and spit after vomiting)
  • Chew sugar free gum to stimulate saliva to neutralise and wash away acid.
  • Smear a little bit of toothpaste over your teeth with your finger.
  • Wait at least 30 minutes before brushing to avoid damaging softened enamel surface.

For further advice, speak to your dentist or an oral health professional.

* Tooth erosion is the gradual wearing away or dissolving of the outer enamel layer of your teeth.


Gum disease and pregnancy

Many women can develop gum disease during pregnancy because of natural hormonal changes in the body. If gum disease becomes severe, the infection can affect an unborn baby’s development.  Severe gum disease in an expectant mother can increase the risk of premature birth and of delivering a low birth weight baby. There may be possible long-term health risks for a child born prematurely or of low birth weight.

Signs of gum disease include:

  • bleeding gums
  • red gums (instead of pink)
  • swollen gums
  • bad breath.

If you suspect you may have gum disease, talk to a dentist or an oral health professional. Gum disease can be treated.


Smoking while pregnant is not good for you and your unborn baby and it can also lead to gum disease. If you smoke, consider quitting.

The effects of smoking on your unborn child: Better Health Channel website. External website icon


How to make a public dental appointment

Pregnant woman are eligible for priority public dental care if:

  • They hold a Victorian Health Care or Pensioner Concession card, or
  • They are a dependent of a concession card holder.

Priority access means you will be offered the next available appointment rather than being placed on the general dental care waiting list. 


How much will you need to pay?

Fees can be found on the Dental Services page. Please refer to the fees for children and adults in the emergency and general care sections.

To make an appointment, please locate your local community dental clinic or call 1300 360 054. Be sure to tell the receptionist you are pregnant. 



 PDF doc icon Oral health during pregnancy fact sheet (PDF, 494KB)


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