Monday, September 28, 2009

Dental care - during and before pregnancy

After two years, I have finally been back to the dentist!

It wasn't intentional to wait that long, it just happened. A cancelled appointment due to sickness and then time ran away from me! We all know how that goes!

What got me there eventually was what I learnt about teeth problems during pregnancy.

Any pre-existing problems before you get pregnant can be enhanced during pregnancy. Gum disease is the main problem. And if its there already, it can get worse. And I have known for a little while, that I have had some mild gum disease because of occasional bleeding when I brushed.

The dentist explained things further. Increased blood flow due to pregnancy, can cause gums to swell and make them more susceptible to infection. And if you do experience severe gum problems during pregnancy, there is an increased risk of premature delivery. That certainly provides me with strong motivation to have healthy teeth and gums!!

She advised me to come back either in 6 months for a regular follow up or in the second trimester - whichever comes first. The reason for coming in the second trimester is mainly due to comfort. Any morning sickness will have passed and you will still be able to comfortably lay in the chair - unlike in the third trimester! However, I think it is also a sensible time to check up on those gums and make sure they are staying healthy before there is any chance of problems with bubby!

So, I have gone from detesting flossing to doing so every night. And three weeks after my dentists appointment, it has now become a habit!
I have gone from dreading the dentist to looking forward to my next check up to make sure everything is good.
I am still bleeding just a little from the gums - but only when I floss, not when I brush.
So, I am keen to see if the six months of regular flossing I will have achieved by then, has made a difference to my dental health.


Morning sickness and your teeth
To avoid damage to your teeth after vomiting or gastric reflux, avoid brushing your teeth for about an hour after vomiting.
To freshen your mouth, simply smear some fluoride toothpaste over your teeth and then rinse off with water. Not only will it help wash away the potentially damaging acid but it will also re-mineralise your teeth.
Gagging can occur while brushing your teeth. If brushing makes you feel sick try using a very small headed brush, such as a brush designed for children, and concentrate on your breathing as you clean your back teeth.
Brushing without toothpaste may help. Rinse with a fluoride toothpaste and water twice a day but return to brushing with fluoride toothpaste as soon as possible.


  1. Wow, does that bring back memories! Trying to brush my teeth while nauseous during the first trimester of pregnancy was challenging. There was a gag or two and me hanging my folded harms over the sink.

    When you conceive your little one, if you have nausea, I'm sure you will be able to count on your friends (blogging friends too) and family for support and comforting words.

  2. Oh dear, just another thing to look forward to!!
    Thank you so much for your support, Anita.