Is Fluoride Safe During Pregnancy? The Novato Dentist Answers Your Questions

Written by Dr. McConnell on May 5, 2015

The benefits of fluoride are well known as studies have shown fluoridation of community water has reduced tooth decay by at least 25%. Beyond our drinking water fluoride supplements are also available.

For pregnant women, though, it is important to consult with your obstetrician and the Novato Dentist about fluoride to make sure to keep the baby and the mother healthy during this critical time. 

What Does Fluoride Do?

Fluoride keeps teeth healthy in two different ways:

  • Fluoride concentrates in the growing bones and developing teeth of children, helping to harden the enamel on baby and adult teeth before they erupt.
  • Fluoride applied by our dentist helps to harden the enamel on adult teeth that have already erupted. Fluoride works during the natural process of building up (remineralization) and breaking down (demineralization) the enamel of our teeth.

After eating a meal, your saliva contains acids that cause demineralization (dissolving of the calcium and phosphorous under the tooth’s surface). At other times during the day, when your saliva is less acidic, replenishing the calcium and phosphorous that keep your teeth hard.

What About Fluoride Treatments During Pregnancy?

Currently there is no evidence to show any benefit to the developing baby’s teeth. In fact they can be hazardous to the baby’s developing teeth.

Fluoride supplements can cross the placenta and be ingested by the baby, possibly leading to dental fluorosis (a disturbance of dental enamel caused by excessive exposure fluoride during tooth development).

Please Contact Us for More Information

If you’re pregnant, or planning to become pregnant, please contact the Novato Dentist to arrange an appointment. We will work with your obstetrician to make sure that your treatment is safe for both you and your baby.