Some expectant mothers feel disgusting when brushing their teeth during pregnancy. This leads them to wonder, "Can I stop brushing my teeth if it's making me sick?"
The answer? Definitely not!
The risk of caries (decay) increases during pregnancy due to increased dietary frequency and changes in oral hygiene habits. Women tend to eat more often to feed their growing baby, which has the potential to expose the teeth to more acid and other harmful bacteria. Plus, pregnancy is exhausting. As a result, it's not uncommon for women's oral hygiene habits to suffer due to a lack of energy. Improper oral hygiene makes them at higher risk for tooth decay.
What should I do if I get sick while brushing my teeth?
First, choose the best time to brush your teeth. For example, avoid brushing when you're experiencing morning sickness. Instead, try to eat foods like soda biscuits or flour cakes that will help neutralize the stomach acid. Then, brush and floss your teeth like normal once the morning sickness has subsided.
Second, try using a different toothbrush. You may find that brushes with smaller heads, like those for children, cause less reaction while brushing. If you use a smaller head, you may need to spend more time brushing, but it should lessen the symptoms.
If you feel like it's the toothpaste that is causing you to feel sick, you can also try switching flavors or not using toothpaste. Some pastes have stronger scents and flavors, which may trigger sickness. Some toothpaste has mild flavors, but you may need to try several to find one that works for you. If none seems to help, even brushing your teeth with water is much better than not brushing them at all! You can also use mouthwash when you're finished, but this is not a substitute for brushing as it does not remove plaque.
Lastly, don't forget to floss! Floss is the only way to remove interproximal plaque, which lives in between your teeth. If you don't floss, you're missing out on cleaning one-third of the tooth surfaces. You can also try chewing sugar-free gum to help stimulate saliva, which will reduce the spread of cariogenic bacteria. But again, this is not a substitute for brushing.
*Cover image from pexels@andrea piacquadio, we will delete it if constitutes infringement *