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It’s been almost four years since I was pregnant. And even though I had an easy and healthy pregnancy, my teeth suffered.

My pregnancy made me nauseous so I couldn’t floss my back teeth without throwing up. And the only thing that helped was to eat sour foods and to eat constantly.

When I finally had my first dental checkup after my girls were born, we found two new cavities. (Yes, I skipped visiting the dentist during my pregnancy. Yes, this was a huuuuge mistake. Yes, I knew better.)

Here are some tips to avoid making the same mistakes:

1) Get dental cleanings more often than you normally do- your gums will be more swollen from the hormones and each cleaning will help keep the swelling down and make it easier for you to keep them clean at home.

2) Schedule a cleaning a few weeks before your due date. You won’t have time to come in while you have a newborn.

5) If you need dental work done, try to do it in your second trimester. Make sure your dentist knows you are pregnant; we can modify treatments to make them even safer.

4) Many pregnant women find that sour foods help calm down the nausea. Try switching out sour candy for green apples or other sour fruits. And try to avoid sucking on lemons, which will wear your teeth down very quickly.

5) Wait at least one hour to brush your teeth after you vomit. The acid will soften your teeth and then the toothbrush would brush off a layer of the tooth. Instead…

6) If you do throw up, try rinsing your mouth with a mixture of water and baking soda (1 cup to 1 teaspoon). This will stop the acid from attacking your teeth. Non-alcoholic mouth-rinses are another good option.

7) Chew gum and sip water to keep your teeth clean and wash away the acids that will wear your teeth down.

What dental issues did you experience during your pregnancy? Do you have any tips for keeping your mouth healthy during pregnancy?

Dr. Nina Nattiv, DDS