Brushing for two: everything you need to know about oral care during pregnancy
Folk tales aside, how does pregnancy affect oral health? If this is a concern of yours, check all you need to know about oral care during pregnancy.
The topic of oral care during pregnancy is surrounded by a myriad of myths that often make pregnant women and their partners concerned or worried about their health and the babies. Ever heard that the baby steals calcium from the mother? Or that an expecting mother should not pay a visit to the dentist? We (and science) brush these off as fiction and superstition, but there are indeed some things you need to know about oral care during pregnancy.
Oral care during pregnancy: precautions to have
Being pregnant does not necessarily mean dental problems. However, there is an increased risk of some issues and there some other concerns related to oral care during pregnancy that must be taken into consideration.
Give some extra love to your gums
Being pregnant can make you more prone to gum disease or gum issues, like bleeding. This is not an uncommon scenario, as it has a hormonal cause. Some hormonal changes during pregnancy can make your gums more susceptible to the build-up of plaque, which leads to inflammation and bleeding – often called pregnancy gingivitis. A daily salt rinse, of about one teaspoon dissolved in a cup of warm water, might help with gum inflammation and bleeding: just swirl it around in your mouth for a few seconds before spitting.
Do not stop going to the dentist
Despite what old wives’ tales say, do go to the dentist if you need to. In fact, it is advised to have a check-up at the dentist at the beginning of pregnancy. Dentists are doctors and they know what is safe and what is not for your baby and you. Most dental X-rays today are perfectly safe for pregnant mothers, as they don’t affect the abdomen or pelvic area. And remember, an untreated infection in your mouth can affect the baby’s health adversely. Oral care during pregnancy is caring for two.
Brush normally, twice or thrice a day
Brushing your teeth is always necessary, oral care during pregnancy should not be neglected at all. So, keep brushing normally, with a toothpaste with fluoride, and flossing once a day to avoid the build-up of plaque. Avoid, however, mouthwash with alcohol, especially if you have sensitive gums or pregnancy gingivitis. Many women experience cravings during pregnancy, of either salty or sweet food. If you cannot avoid it in between meals, make sure you brush your teeth to avoid getting cavities or at least rinse your mouth thoroughly with water – it is not as efficient as brushing, but it’s better than nothing.
Brushing after morning sickness: a big no-no!
Morning sickness can be quite bad in some women, and it can lead to a lot of vomiting for the first couple of months of pregnancy. Also common with morning sickness is acid reflux. Normally the morning sickness clears up from week 16 to week 20, but until then, it can be hard to manage. Vomiting and reflux expose the teeth to the stomach acids which can cause dental erosion and increase the risk of tooth decay by dissolving tooth enamel. As such, it is important to not brush the teeth for 30 minutes to an hour after vomiting or reflux. This is because the tooth enamel is still softened. Instead, it is advised to rinse the mouth thoroughly with water, to rinse away the acid.
Choose the safest path: go natural!
And since health is your concern here, why not start using a natural toothpaste? Traditional toothpaste is known to contain microplastics and many other unsafe or even toxic ingredients, that one does not want in their bodies generally, let alone during pregnancy. Get to know The Bam & Boo Natural Toothpaste: vegan, made of natural ingredients, and it is triclosan - and paraben-free, and has 0% artificial colours or preservatives.
Do you want to know more about The Bam&Boo products? Our products are completely safe for your oral care during pregnancy, as well as for before and after. Check out The Bam&Boo Toothbrushes and Dental Floss – they’re eco-friendly, vegan and plastic-free, among others.
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