Guest Blog by Dr. Amanda Tavoularis (dentably.com)
For many women, experiencing morning sickness can be one of the most unpleasant symptoms that accompanies their pregnancy. What’s worse, morning sickness can also lead to its own problems such as oral health issues. That’s why it’s important to deal with morning sickness, and take steps to prevent permanent damage to your teeth. As a dentist with 20 years of experience, I’ve spent the last two decades helping pregnant women keep their teeth protected from the dangers of morning sickness. I’ve put together my top tips for beating morning sickness while keeping your mouth healthy.
How Does Morning Sickness Affect Dental Health
The big issue with morning sickness is actually the vomiting that typically accompanies it. Vomit has stomach acid in it, and this acid can wear away the enamel on your teeth. Left untreated, this can not only damage the teeth, but also make them more susceptible to damage in the future. With proper care though, you can mitigate these effects and keep your mouth and teeth healthy and strong.
At Home Care
It’s important to make sure that you keep up with your daily oral care routine. This includes brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash. This can be a bit difficult with the nausea brought on by morning sickness, but is important to not skip.
If you’re having trouble, try putting brushing off to a little later in the morning. This is usually the worst time for morning sickness, so giving a little time after waking up can help to get passed the initial queasiness. You can also try using a more neutral flavored toothpaste. There are many types of toothpaste out there that have a much milder flavor, and can help combat nausea and morning sickness. Taking these two together can help make the whole process of brushing a bit easier to stomach in the morning.
Watch Your Diet
It’s also important to watch your diet during your pregnancy, and doing so can help with morning sickness. Try your best to stay away from foods which can make you feel queasy, and focus on eating nutrient rich food. If certain foods are known to upset your stomach try and stay away from them until the morning sickness symptoms subside.
Also, do your best to avoid eating foods that are high in sugar. These are killer for your teeth, and limiting them can help keep bacteria out of your mouth. This will help limit the overall damage they can cause, and stop nasty infections like gum disease from happening.
Rinse With Baking Soda
A good way to protect your teeth's enamel is to swish with warm water and baking soda in the mornings. As mentioned, stomach acids can wear away at your enamel, so it’s important to keep it protected and strong.
You’ll want to do this a couple times a week, and then brush immediately after. If you do vomit in the morning, rinse with warm water, and then give it 30-60 minutes before swishing with baking soda and brushing. This will prevent making the problem worse by rubbing the acids into your teeth. Many people's first instinct is to brush immediately after throwing up, but this can actually damage the teeth more.
Visit Your Dentist
Lastly, it’s important to keep up with seeing your dentist. While it won’t necessarily help you combat morning sickness, it will help mitigate any ill effects it could bring to your teeth. Your dentist can help evaluate your oral health, and get you back on track.
It’s a common myth that pregnant women can’t go to the dentist, but this isn’t true. In fact, it’s highly encouraged that you go. Even many procedures and medications are perfectly safe, but talk to your dentist to get their opinion.