Most women experience nausea during pregnancy. Although it is commonly called morning sickness, it can occur at any time during the day. Nausea usually subsides after the first trimester, but for some women, it can last much longer. There are many natural remedies available to women to help ease their nausea. Unfortunately, some of them aren’t very tooth-friendly. Let’s have a look at some common ones and how they can be modified to protect your teeth.
Lemon water- This is a common suggestion since sour foods seem to help with morning sickness. The problem with adding lemon to water is that the acids can lead to tooth problems such as acid erosion and sensitive teeth. If you find lemon water helps to prevent vomiting, you can try having it only with meals and do not sip it over long periods of time. Try using a straw and rinse your mouth with plain water afterwards. It is not a good idea to suck on lemons directly. This is very damaging to your teeth. Some women may get relief from merely smelling lemon or peppermint, this is worth a try, and it won’t harm your teeth.
Ginger-ale/lemonade- These drinks typically contain significant amounts of sugar and are acidic. You could try adding a slice of fresh ginger to a glass of ice water to get the same stomach-calming effect.
Sucking on candies- There are even anti-nausea candies marketed just for pregnant women. The problem is, these candies often contain sugar as the main ingredient. Slowly dissolving sweets are very bad for your teeth since they stay in contact with your teeth for long periods of time. Try sucking on sugar-free candies to prevent issues with tooth decay.
Eating smaller, more frequent meals- This can help curb nausea, but it exposes your teeth to dietary sugars and acids more often. Try rinsing mouth thoroughly with water after eating any meals and snacks. It would be a good idea to add an extra floss and brush in during the day to keep your teeth clean and healthy. If unable to brush after eating, try chewing a piece of sugarless gum to stimulate saliva, your mouth’s natural cleanser.
Crackers- Many pregnant women will resort to snacking on saltine crackers to curb their nausea. The bacteria in your mouth can easily digest the carbohydrates in crackers to produce the acids that cause cavities. Try to rinse your mouth with water directly after having biscuits and brush your teeth soon after.
Further considerations to protect your teeth during pregnancy:
Although professional fluoride treatments are not usually done during pregnancy, it is important to use fluoridated toothpaste at home still. This will help to keep your teeth healthy and prevent cavities.
If you do vomit, rinse your mouth with water or a mixture of water and baking soda. This will help to neutralize the acids. Wait 30 minutes before brushing to avoid acid erosion.
Some of the recommendations to curb nausea aren’t good for your teeth, but neither is stomach acid from vomiting. If you find some of the above remedies are preventing you from getting sick, you might have to use your discretion and choose what works best for you. Remember always to practice excellent oral hygiene during pregnancy to minimize the adverse effects on your teeth.
If you are pregnant and want to discuss how to maintain good oral health, call us today!