If you're suffering from morning sickness, you may be finding it hard to brush your teeth effectively. Sometimes, the very thought of putting a toothbrush in your mouth will make you feel sick. Even if you can get past this point and start brushing, the actions of your toothbrush in your mouth may trigger your gag reflex and bring on a bout of sickness.
Don't Stop Brushing!
While it may be tempting to skip brushing your teeth during this stage of pregnancy, you should try to find a way to maintain a good dental routine. Your pregnancy hormones may affect the way your teeth can manage dental problems such as plaque. This may put you at a higher risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease. As well as affecting your dental health, gum disease has been linked with premature births so it may also affect your baby's health. If you're having problems brushing, you may find that a change of toothbrush helps you keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy.
Try a Smaller Toothbrush
If you have morning sickness, you already know that putting anything in your mouth may make you feel nauseous. While the head on your regular toothbrush may not seem that big in the great scheme of things, it may be large enough to set off your gag reflex or even make you throw up when you use it to brush.
You may find that switching to a smaller toothbrush helps with this problem. For example, you can try using a brush designed for young children which comes with a much smaller head than your regular adult brush. Reducing the size of the head can make a difference. A smaller toothbrush will simply feel less bulky in your mouth and you may find it easier to negotiate the brush around your teeth without triggering a bout of nausea.
Try Softer Bristles
If you used a hard-bristled toothbrush before you got pregnant, you may find that you can tolerate brushing your teeth better with a soft-bristled brush when you're trying to manage morning sickness. A hard toothbrush may have a jarring effect which may make you feel sick; however, you may find that the gentler rubbing of a softer brush is less invasive and easier to tolerate.
A softer toothbrush may also be useful if you do develop gum problems in pregnancy, as it won't put as much pressure on your gums as a harder brush might.
You may find it best to wait until your morning sickness subsides before trying to brush your teeth. The acids that come into your mouth after a bout of sickness typically make your enamel weak for a while. You should wait an hour after being sick before you brush your teeth to avoid damaging this weakened enamel through brushing. If you have constant morning sickness that lasts all day, you may want to talk to your dentist (like those at The Happy Tooth Kurri Kurri) to get some advice on how to minimise damage and maintain good oral health during your pregnancy.
Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved stories about the past. Whether the stories were about horses, wars, exploration or even dentistry, I loved to hear them. I find that knowing the history of something helps it to make sense and feel approachable. I know that some people have dental anxiety, and I too have suffered, but I also feel like the more you know about dental work and its history, the easier it is. This blog is dedicated to exploring the history of dentistry – What did ancient people use for fillings? How did early dentists numb their patients? Who was the first dentist? Those are just some of the questions I plan to answer here. Ready? Okay, let's dive into the history of dentistry together!