Pregnancy hormones can affect physical changes in the body, not only the growing belly but also in your teeth and gums. In addition, any nutritional intake and chemical exposure from the mother's body will reach the fetus and can affect the child’s health in the long term.
While it is always essential to practice good oral hygiene, pregnancy oral care requires more holistic and vigilant dental treatment than ever.
Dental visits around pregnancy
Before getting pregnant, visit a dental professional. Pregnancy can increase oral health problems and advance visits can help greatly reduce the risk. And during pregnancy, check with your obstetrician to see if they suggest any special precautions prior to your dental appointments. Routine dental visits can be done at any time during pregnancy, but some elective procedures may be better postponed.
Make cleaner product swaps for personal care and oral care products during the preconception stage. It will help reduce the body burden of unnecessary chemical exposure and can help with fertility and lead to a healthier pregnancy. When choosing products, read ingredient lists carefully and understand what each of them do. Here are a few common ingredients in oral care products we recommend avoiding.
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
- PEGs and related Petroleum-based thickeners
- Phthalates from fragrance (flavor) and plastic packaging
- PTFE/ PFAS Chemicals in floss
Morning sickness can change how you react to particular tastes and smells, even ones you've never had an adverse reaction to before. By switching to oral care products that avoid sweeteners and strong flavors, you can clean your teeth without upsetting your stomach even more.
For women with severe nausea and vomiting, the acid from the bile can erode tooth enamel. We recommend rinsing your mouth with an alcohol free mouthwash or plain water, and waiting 15-30 minutes to brush your teeth after each bout. Brushing your teeth immediately after throwing up can actually erode your tooth enamel more from stomach acid. Use a remineralizing nano hydroxyapatite toothpaste to minimize the enamel erosion.
Dry mouth during pregnancy
Dry mouth (also known as xerostomia) is very common during pregnancy. Pregnant women need more water in general for growing babies. Pregnancy specific conditions like sleep issues and gestational diabetes can also cause dry mouth. Dry mouth can lead to secondary issues beyond just discomfort - dental cavities, sore throat, digestion issues and hoarseness.
Staying hydrated, using a humidifier, chewing sugar free gums and nHA as a dry mouth toothpaste ingredient can help with these symptoms.
Pregnancy gingivitis and periodontal disease
As a result of change in hormones, about 40% of pregnant women develop gingivitis and other periodontal diseases. Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums with plaque accumulation and results in swelling, tenderness or bleeding. If you already had gum issues, they may worsen during pregnancy. To prevent and manage symptoms, gentle and remineralizing oral care products are recommended. It is key to choose products that will not cause or aggravate gum inflammation while relieving tooth sensitivity caused by the gum issues.
Here are a few common ingredients that can cause irritation and sensitivity in teeth, and gum tissue. We recommend avoiding these.
- Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)
- Colorings (both natural and synthetic dyes)
- Charcoal toothpastes and teeth polishing products
- Hydrogen Peroxide whitening products
- Flavors and fragrance (both natural and synthetic)
On the other hand, these ingredients can prevent and alleviate the symptoms.
- Nano-hydroxyapatite remineralizes teeth, naturally whitens and alleviates teeth and gum sensitivity
- Korean 9x roasted bamboo salt is naturally alkaline and soothes gum inflammation
- Baking soda is mild abrasive and has alkaline properties, neutralizing acidity and naturally whitens teeth
Measuring fluoride intake during pregnancy and breastfeeding
Fluoride is a very effective remineralizing agent for preventing dental caries, however during pregnancy and breastfeeding you may want to closely monitor your overall fluoride intake from water fluoridation, diet and oral care products during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Of all age groups, the fetus and infants are the most impacted by fluoride’s adverse effects mainly due to their small body mass. It is a controversial topic, however two recent studies can help you make informed decisions. One study from Canada in 2019 suggests that fluoride exposure during pregnancy may be associated with lower IQ in children, indicating the possible need to reduce fluoride intake during pregnancy. Another 2019 study suggests a possible relationship between chronic fluoride exposure and the increased risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
After understanding your overall fluoride ingestion level, consider switching to fluoride free, nano-hydroxyapatite based oral care products.
How OJOOK oral care products can help
Healthier, cleaner oral care products don’t have to compromise in efficacy. OJOOK products are formulated with powerful natural ingredients that are purposefully chosen. See following benefits how OJOOK products can help your oral health during pregnancy and beyond.
- Purposefully concise formulation - 12 ingredients and water: free of fluoride, SLS, preservatives, sweeteners, dyes, or endocrine disruptors.
- There’s no aftertaste to irritate your stomach; just clean and smooth teeth.
- Korean 9x roasted bamboo salt soothes gum inflammation, neutralize acids in the mouth and provide nourishing minerals for good oral microbiome.
- Nano-hydroxyapatite (nHA) is scientifically proven, comparable alternative to fluoride Nano-hydroxyapatite (nHA) restores lost enamel from stomach acid and alleviate teeth sensitivity