When you're pregnant, your mouth often needs some extra attention. But taking care of your gums and teeth through bouts of nausea and inevitable exhaustion can be tough.
Luckily, with patience and good natural toothpaste, your teeth can thrive when your baby is on the way. Here are some tips on maintaining a healthy smile through all nine months.
Retaining Your Routine
One of my biggest oral hygiene problems during my pregnancy was linked to exhaustion. When you're pregnant, your body tries to conserve energy. After all, it's working hard to build a baby twenty-four hours a day. That meant I often fell asleep right in the middle of my bedtime routine. Brushing and flossing fell by the wayside.
To maintain healthy teeth, try moving your oral care time to earlier in the evening so you don't risk getting too sleepy to complete the task. And if you accidentally fall asleep without brushing, take care of your teeth if you get up in the middle of the night for a drink or to use the restroom.
Soothing Swollen Gums
When you're pregnant, swelling isn't limited to your belly. My once-healthy gums became tender and swollen as soon as I became pregnant. They'd bleed when I brushed and flossed. My obstetrician told me that many pregnant women experience this painful and annoying symptom.
So how can you deal with swollen gums? Try switching to a natural, sensitive toothpaste to help make brushing easier and gentler when everything is sore. Tom's of Maine's Fluoride-Free Rapid Relief Sensitive Toothpaste uses a powerful combination of arginine and calcium carbonate—both derived from natural sources—to seal the pathways to sensitive tooth nerves to help block the pain.
The best part about natural toothpastes is that they only include naturally sourced ingredients. That means you're not exposing yourself or your growing baby to any artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
Even when it's uncomfortable, it's important to keep brushing and flossing. Oral health is an important component of pregnancy health. In fact, serious gum disease may trigger premature labor, according to a study published in the Journal of Natural Science, Biology, and Medicine. Continue seeing your dentist for regular checkups. X-rays will be a no-go for the duration of your pregnancy, but your dentist can still provide recommendations for easing the pain in your mouth.
Saying Sayonara to Sickness
In reality, morning sickness can happen any time of the day, and it has huge effects on your ability to take care of your teeth. Sometimes nausea made the taste of my normal toothpaste unbearable. During my pregnancy, I tried switching to milder flavors, like strawberry or mango. You can even try using children's natural toothpaste, since flavors in those formulas tend to be milder. When you do get sick, make sure to rinse out your mouth with water to prevent stomach acids from damaging your tooth enamel, as recommended by the National Health Service.
Pregnancy is a special time, and it comes with special dental hygiene needs. Do your best to make your oral care routine a priority.
Most importantly, don't panic! If you maintain a good routine, your teeth and gums will stay healthy, and your smile will be big and bright when you bring your new baby home.
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Why It's Good
Maintaining your oral care routine when you're pregnant can be hard. But with products you trust and good habits in place, you can keep your smile—and your baby—healthy through all nine months.