If you're expecting your first child, you're probably excited to experience all the joy that accompanies pregnancy. Unfortunately, some pregnancy moments aren't as wondrous as others—like dental problems. You might be surprised to find out that dental problems seem to go right along with pregnancy. Here are some helpful suggestions for overcoming those problems.
As soon as you got pregnant, your body experienced an increase in hormone levels. That increase in hormones, while necessary for a healthy pregnancy, can wreak havoc on your gums. You might notice that your gums bleed more often than they did pre-pregnancy. You might also experience severe swelling of the gums.
This isn't because you have more plaque on your teeth. It's actually because your gums have a more detrimental response to the plaque that builds up on your teeth. Try switching to a soft toothbrush and brush your teeth at least three times a day. You should also rinse your mouth with clean water several times a day. During pregnancy, it's also important that you floss your teeth each time you eat.
Damage Caused By Vomiting
Morning sickness and a weakening of the muscles around your stomach during pregnancy can increase the amount of times you vomit. Unfortunately, that also increases the amount of stomach acid that your teeth come into contact with. While there's nothing you can do about the vomiting, there are things you can do to protect your teeth from stomach acid. Try the following:
- Rinse your mouth with plain water.
- Wait for at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth.
- Rinse with a fluoridated mouthwash after brushing your teeth.
Increased Gag Reflex
While you're pregnant, you may notice that you have a more sensitive gag reflex. It may be difficult to brush your teeth without retching each time you place the toothbrush in your mouth. There are a few things you can do to reduce the gag reflex so you can brush your teeth. Try the following:
- Use a smaller toothbrush, such as a child's brush.
- Breathe through your nose as you place the toothbrush in your mouth.
- Close your eyes while you brush your teeth.
- Brush your teeth with slow strokes.
- Avoid the back of your tongue while brushing.
You need to take proper care of your teeth while you're pregnant. Unfortunately, increased hormones, morning sickness and a heightened gag reflex can make it difficult. Use these simple techniques to keep your teeth healthy during pregnancy. For more information, contact a dentist like Dr. Dan Foresto.