Dental Care Tricks for Pregnancy
Taking care of your teeth is always important but it especially important during pregnancy when gum disease has been linked to preterm labor and low birth weight babies. I’m currently expecting twins and since I have a history of preterm labor I’m definitely interested in doing everything I can to minimize my risks.
I’ve run into a problem though. Morning sickness makes it very, VERY difficult to properly care for your teeth. Not only does frequent vomiting damage your teeth but I can’t even brush my teeth without gagging.
I’ve learned a few tricks a long the way that help make sure my teeth still get the care they need. It’s required a bit of creativity but I know that taking care of my own teeth the best I can now is the best way to make sure my babies get the best start they can have.
Get a Full Dental Cleaning Before Pregnancy
You may as well start your teeth out in the best shape they can be by getting a complete dental cleaning before you get pregnant. If it’s too late for that, be sure and schedule a cleaning for the beginning of the second trimester when the morning sickness is likely to have eased a bit.
Try Using a Kid-Sized Toothbrush
Adult toothbrushes have been too much for me while dealing with severe morning sickness so as a temporary solution I’ve switched to a kid-sized toothbrush. It’s not ideal but it allows me to get in and brush my back teeth the best I can without having the extra bulk in my mouth of a regular toothbrush.
Try a Waterpik Instead of Dental Floss
When you are dealing with morning sickness, the last thing you want to do is floss. A Waterpik lets you get in there and clean between your teeth and it’s a bit easier on the gag reflex.
Brush when you can
Brushing first thing in the morning or right before bed can be tricky when you aren’t feeling well. Since I’m sick at night, I try and brush right after dinner and then do what I can before bed. Frequent brushing throughout the day can help minimize the damage to your teeth and sets a great example for your kids.
Mouthwash is your Friend
It’s hard when you know your teeth aren’t getting as clean as you’d like them to be because of morning sickness. I struggle brushing my back teeth because it sets off my gag reflex so I try and use mouthwash once a day to get to some of those places I’m not hitting as frequently with my toothbrush as I usually do.
Use Small Amounts of Toothpaste
Since becoming pregnant, I can’t use the amount of toothpaste that I normally do. I stick with very small amounts (think what you put on your kids’ toothbrushes). I’ve had the best luck with sensitive toothpaste like Sensodyne because I find that it doesn’t lather as much in my mouth but you may have to play around with different brands to find one that works best for you during pregnancy.
Have you struggled with morning sickness during pregnancy? How did you were maintaining your dental health?