Posted on: 15 June 2015
Pregnancy is a wonderful time in the life of any woman, but during the first-trimester morning sickness may serve to dampen the joy you are currently feeling. No-one wants to have to put up with nausea on a daily basis for up to three months, but you may not have considered the impact that your delicate stomach is having on your teeth. Here are two facts that you need to know.
The urge to brush your teeth immediately after you have vomited will be strong so that you can regain the clean feeling in your mouth; however, it is not wise to do so. The stomach acids that were in the vomit are incredibly abrasive to the enamel of your teeth and you can permanently damage the enamel if you brush straight away. Instead:
- Rinse out your mouth with cold water.
- Swish fluoridated mouthwash through your mouth. The fluoride will reduce the chance of the enamel becoming weakened by the stomach acids. Although you do not swallow mouthwash, using a non-alcohol based mouthwash is the safer choice for you and your baby during pregnancy.
- Wait one hour and then brush your teeth. By this time, any remaining acid will have been washed away by your saliva and can no longer damage the enamel.
Enamel damage is very hard to reverse once it occurs, and cosmetic dentistry will be required to protect the tooth that remains. Your options include bonding a composite resin to the damaged tooth to make it thicker, or the attachment of veneers to the teeth. Veneers are thin slices of porcelain that get attached to the front of your tooth. Your dentist will advise which one is more appropriate depending on the amount of enamel eradication that has occurred.
Unfortunately, the enamel of the teeth is not the only thing that is affected by morning sickness related vomiting, you may notice discolouration occurring as well.
You already know that certain beverages such as wine and coffee can stain your teeth over time and lead to a yellow discolouration taking place. However, as the stomach acids from morning sickness wash over your teeth, this can leave them open to staining as well.
As previously mentioned, the acid can weaken the enamel on your teeth, which is supposed to protect them, and that means anything you eat or drink while your teeth are in a weakened state could change the long-term colour of them. During the pregnancy, the only thing you can do to prevent discolouration from taking place is keeping up your high levels of normal dental habits. Be sure to brush your teeth and use mouthwash twice a day. Additionally, consider chewing gum between meals to increase saliva production. Saliva is the regular way you can flush tooth decay causing bacteria away from your teeth.
The only permanent way to professionally bring your teeth back to a whiter state is to visit a cosmetic dentist at a clinic like Alan Miller Dental Practice, and have a teeth whitening procedure performed. There is no evidence that states either way whether having your teeth whitened could harm your baby. However, due to the fact that you would need to visit the dentist regularly over several months, combined with the fact that there are chemicals involved in the process, you may find it is best to wait until after the baby has been born.
By being mindful of the effects morning sickness can have on your teeth during pregnancy, you can minimise the damage that is done during the first three months. Instead, you can concentrate on the fun parts of pregnancy as you move towards expanding your family by one.Share