Pregnancy is a beautiful time in a woman’s life. When a woman is pregnant she experiences many symptoms and side effects. One of the most common symptoms is morning sickness. While the nausea and vomiting are often times unbearable, many women are unaware of how this pregnancy side effect can affect their dental health. I have been working with expecting mothers for nearly 20 years to help them work through their morning sickness and help their teeth stay healthy. Since dental care during pregnancy is so important, I have compiled some helpful tips to help women during this special time in their life.
1. Don’t Skip Brushing
The intense nausea and vomiting that you may experience while you are pregnant may cause you to skip a few meals. However, it’s important to not let it cause you to skip your dental care routine. It’s important to keep your teeth as healthy as possible while you’re pregnant to avoid gum disease and other serious health issues. If the thought of brushing your teeth makes you feel even sicker, consider switching to a plain-tasting toothpaste instead. You can also change the time of day you brush or use a smaller amount of toothpaste.
2. Use Baking Soda and Water
If you’re experiencing morning sickness while pregnant and you find yourself vomiting throughout the day, you probably are rushing to brush your teeth after a wave of nausea. However, it’s important to protect your enamel from the gastric acid so before you brush you should swish your mouth with baking soda and water. The baking soda will help neutralize the acid in your stomach which helps protect the enamel. Swish the mixture in your mouth for a few seconds, rinse, and then brush your teeth as normal.
3. Avoid Sugary Foods
Once you get your appetite back after a bout of morning sickness, you may be running to the pantry for sugary foods and drinks, especially if you are feeling low on energy. However, it’s best to turn to healthier foods that are better for your dental health and provide you with longer lasting energy. Try eating things such as cheese, veggies, nuts, and lean proteins. Keep in mind not to restrict your diet too much and it’s completely okay to indulge in sugary cravings, as long as it doesn’t become a habit as it can greatly affect the health of your teeth. If you do snack on sugary treats be sure to clean your teeth regularly to avoid tooth decay.
Among the many side effects of pregnancy, morning sickness is one of the most common. Aside from the intense nauseating feelings and trips to the toilet, morning sickness can also have effects on your dental health. There are many ways you can help combat these side effects to help you feel better and to avoid any serious issues in your mouth. Try to continue your oral care routine the best you can to help avoid tooth decay and gum disease. Pregnancy is such a special time in a woman’s life and it’s important to maintain your dental care routine during this time to keep your mouth healthy as you prepare for this new journey of motherhood.
About the Author:
Dr. Amanda Tavoularis has been committed to excellent dentistry for over 20 years. She studied at the University of Washington School of Dentistry and has gone on to complete over 200 hours of study at the prestigious Kois Center located in Seattle. She belongs to numerous dentistry networks include the American Dental Association and the Wellness Dentistry Network. With being a female dentist on the Dentably team, Dr. Amanda can provide her expertise for dental care for women as well as expecting mothers. She has a son of her own and is committed to providing the most accurate information possible for patients.