If you’re one of the “lucky” pregnant women who gets morning sickness, the one thing you should avoid is brushing your teeth until after it passes.
Immediately after vomiting the pH in your mouth will drop and soften the outer layer of your enamel. Until the pH levels in your mouth are neutralized by your natural defenses like saliva, your teeth will be more easily damaged by your tooth brush .
Also, the stomach acids you produce during bouts of morning sickness will eat away faster at freshly cleaned enamel. In this narrow case, the residual layer of plaque or bacteria that’s formed on your teeth overnight will actually help protect your teeth.
You may have that yucky, gunky feeling in your mouth for longer than you’d like, but you’ll be able to brush it away in no time.
In the meantime, you can rinse your mouth out with lukewarm water instead. But resist the temptation to flavour that water up, because the last thing you want to do is introduce more acid.
What about that dry mouth that can accompany morning sickness?
It’s a common side effect of pregnancy, and it can lead to tooth problems. Drinking water often improves this symptom. Also, if you want to get the saliva flowing a little bit more, we’d also recommend sugarless gum (which will also come in handy to quell the morning sickness feelings).
What about my bleeding gums?
Swollen gums and gingivitis are part of the miracle, so don’t freak out if your gums bleed when you floss. Keep up your oral hygiene and know that this side effect has nothing to do with your dedication to oral health.
And what about my crazy cravings?
Look, we’re not going to tell you to deny yourself those sweets if that’s what you feel you need to get through the day. But we would tell you to keep an eye on how much of it you eat. It goes back to acid, which sweets and starchy snacks create in your mouth.
And the one thing you should do?
Book an appointment for a teeth cleaning before you have your baby. Because once it’s out, you’re not going to have the time. We can pretty much guarantee that.