Oral Health During Pregnancy and Early Childhood

California Dental Association Foundation

This is archived content, for historical reference only.

To help spotlight the importance of oral health care for expectant mothers, the California Dental Association (CDA) Foundation worked in collaboration with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists District IX to address misconceptions about the importance and safety of oral health during the perinatal period. The evidence base was provided by an expert panel composed of dental and medical professionals who met in 2009 to present the scientific literature and recent research on the implications of oral diseases for pregnancy outcomes.

Based on the findings, the panel and advisory committee developed the following consensus statement: “Prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of oral diseases, including needed dental radiographs and use of local anesthesia, are highly beneficial and can be undertaken during pregnancy with no additional fetal or maternal risk when compared to the risk of not providing care. Good oral health and control of oral disease protects a woman’s health and quality of life and has the potential to reduce the transmission of pathogenic bacteria from mothers to their children.”

In February 2010, the CDA Foundation released these materials, the development of which CHCF funded:

  • Oral Health During Pregnancy & Early Childhood: Evidence-Based Guidelines for Health Professionals
  • Oral Health During Pregnancy & Early Childhood: Policy Brief
  • Patient education materials: Cavity Keep Away provides patients with messages about the importance and safety of dental care, and how to avoid passing on caries-causing bacteria.

The materials can be downloaded from the CDA Foundation’s website through the External Link below.