Can You Use Mouthwash During Pregnancy?

What you may consider right under normal circumstances may not be considered safe during pregnancy. The same applies to using mouthwash. You may have not thought twice about using mouthwash before being pregnant, but it may not be a safe choice if it contains alcohol. While it is important to be careful when using mouthwash, you may have to do something to maintain your oral health.

Is It Safe to Use Mouthwash During Pregnancy?

It is true that an OTC mouth rinse is probably a safe choice during pregnancy, but you should never use anything that contains alcohol. If you have just become pregnant, it is a good idea to schedule a meeting with your doctor and tell them about any products you are currently using. They will tell you if you should continue using it or try an alternative.

Which Kind of Mouthwash to Use During Pregnancy?

Experts believe that not everyone requires mouthwash during pregnancy. If you have to use it, you should know which kind is safe during pregnancy.

What Does the AAPD Recommends?

As per the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), you can use a fluoridated, alcohol-free mouth rinse during pregnancy. You should use it once a day if it is a 0.5% sodium fluoride rinse – you can use it twice daily if it is a 0.02% sodium fluoride rinse.

You may want to use a fluoridated mouthwash if you vomit frequently, which leaves stomach acid in your teeth that can erode tooth enamel. It is even a good idea to rinse your mouth with mouthwash every time you vomit. You can also add a teaspoon of baking soda to a cup of water and use it to rinse your mouth after vomiting. Never brush your teeth immediately after you vomit because the abrasive ingredients in your toothpaste can actually damage the enamel, already weakened by the acid.

What Does the ADA Recommends?

The American Dental Association (ADA) suggests that it is not necessary to use mouthwash for pregnant women, but they may want to use it once before going to bed. They also recommend that you should talk to your dentist and get an antibacterial or antimicrobial rinse to prevent gum disease. This is only in case you have some trouble keeping plaque under control – you can also use a fluoride rinse at night and an antibacterial rinse in the morning to keep plaque at bay.

Some experts believe that you can use a rinse that contains antimicrobial chlorhexidine if you are dealing with severe gum disease. Keep in mind that such a rinse is only for use in serious cases. Never use it for extended time or else it would stain your teeth.

Dental Care Tips in Pregnancy

You have to practice care when using mouthwash during pregnancy, but you also need to keep other tips in mind to protect your teeth and gums while pregnant. Here are some general dental hygiene tips to follow during pregnancy:

  • Be sure to brush your teeth twice a day using fluoride toothpaste. You can go for thrice a day for better protection.
  • Select your toothbrush carefully. Opt for a softer toothbrush if your gums are tender or swollen due to pregnancy gingivitis.
  • Do not forget to floss between your teeth at least once a day.
  • Schedule regular checkups with your dentist and follow their advice.
  • Use an antimicrobial rinse to keep plaque at bay. Your doctor can help you find a good one.
  • Use a mixture of baking soda and water to rinse your mouth each time you vomit. You can also rinse your mouth with water alone, but be sure to rinse it properly to help eliminate any stomach acid in your mouth.
  • Pay attention to your diet and eat food high in vitamin B12, calcium, and vitamin-C.

Never Ignore Flossing During Pregnancy

While you may think it is enough to use mouthwash during pregnancy, you should never underestimate the importance of brushing and flossing regularly. Flossing becomes more important when your gums are tender, get a bit swollen, or bleed a little.

You should floss regularly because it keeps your pregnancy gingivitis from becoming worse and turning into periodontal disease. It does not matter if you use a disposable flosser, opt for an electric flosser, or stick to your traditional floss, just be sure to floss daily to maintain good oral health during and after pregnancy.

Stick to a Balanced, Healthy Diet

What you eat will also have an impact on your oral health. Interestingly, a healthy diet is not only essential for your teeth but is equally important for your baby's teeth, which begin to develop during the third and sixth month of your pregnancy. Here are a few tips to provide your baby's developing teeth with all-important nutrients:

  • Include lots of veggies and fruits in your diet. You should also opt for whole-grain products. You can also include cottage cheese, milk, unsweetened yogurt, and other dairy products in your diet.
  • Limit your intake of food high in sugar, such as cookies and candy. The same goes for soda, juice, and drinks high in sugar.
  • Opt for snack foods not high in sugar, such as veggies, fruits, unsweetened yogurt, and cheese.
  • Increase your intake of water, especially between snacks and meals. It is even better to include fluoridated water in your diet.

It is very important to deal with those cravings for sugary food, or else you will end up developing all sorts of dental problems. If you cannot resist the temptation, be sure to rinse your mouth thoroughly after having a sugary snack.

 
 
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