Being a mommy-to-be means making all sorts of sacrifices. During this special time, mums can get so focused on making sure that everything is perfect for our little one that we may often neglect our own health. But, a mom who cares for herself is also caring for her unborn child—that's especially true when it comes to oral health.
“We’re eating for two, and we're brushing for two”
According to CDC, if moms have high levels of untreated cavities or tooth loss, their children are three times more likely to have cavities. So it's very important for mums to make sure that they take care of themselves because right around this time, we are doing everything for two. We’re eating for two, and we're brushing for two as well.
What types of changes in oral health may occur during pregnancy?
The body is undergoing so many changes when you're pregnant and your oral health may be affected by some of the hormonal changes that are occurring, like an influx of these hormones, specifically estrogen and progesterone.
This sudden change may have a potential side effect on your mouth. Pregnancy gingivitis and dry mouth are very common and that's because your body is undergoing so many changes.
*You can read more about gingivitis and dry mouth in pregnancy here
How can expecting moms reduce their risk for oral health problems?
Bacterial growth is the root cause of a lot of the issues that we're experiencing like cavities and sensitive gums. Therefore, inhibiting that bacteria is very crucial and important. Good daily oral hygiene plays a big role here.
What toothpaste should you consider to use?
Grin’s freshening toothpaste was co-developed with dentists. It has no artificial colors, fragrances, preservatives, artificial sweeteners nor SLS, which means it is 100% safe for pregnant and breastfeeding moms. It has three active ingredients that help with sensitive gums – Manuka oil, natural properties, and organic sea salt.
The manuka oil is from New Zealand, naturally antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, it could also help reduce mouth sores and soothe gum pain. The natural properties are also famous for their anti-septic characteristics to inhibit bacteria growth.
What toothbrush should you consider to use?
Choosing a soft bristle toothbrush, like Grin Biodegradable Soft Toothbrushes also helps with sensitive gums during pregnancy.
The bristle of Grin Biodegradable Toothbrush is black, because it's been charcoal-infused. It helps to detoxify, reduce the bacteria buildup in your brush. It also helps your mouth, for better breath as well.
The brittle tip is thinner than one-half of the diameter of a human hair. It helps you to reach deeper space in your tooth.
With pregnancy, your oral hygiene routine may be a little bit neglected. You're exhausted. You are experiencing nausea or potentially vomiting. It affects how you want to brush and floss your teeth. Choosing a smaller toothbrush can help prevent any gagging and reduce your chances of vomiting when brushing. On top of it, being more gentle when you're brushing your tongue also helps because it can reduce a gag reflex.
What else can you do to reduce gag reflex?
To reduce a gag reflex, you can also do things like focusing on listening to music or focus on your breathing when you're brushing to help distract you from it. And again, choose toothpaste that is very mild, that doesn’t contain strong flavors, SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) ingredient that causes the foaming action.
If you are experiencing morning sickness, then do not brush immediately after getting sick. Wait about 30 minutes to an hour and before brushing. Instead, you can use the sodium bicarbonate rinse, which contains a mixture of a teaspoon of baking soda mixed with a cup of water.
This will neutralize the acid in your mouth, and this can help prevent a potential acid erosion that we talked about that comes with nausea in vomiting. Lastly, again, dental cleanings and exams, every three to six months are important to establish.
Moms, we're in this together. If you have additional concerns, feel free to also subscribe to our newsletter to receive more oral health and wellbeing tips:)
Photo credits to our beautiful Grin mamas @wonderfully_walker and @sarahthereseco