Mums are generally concerned with how pregnancy will affect their dental health, the best baby toothpaste to use, or the best toddler toothbrush to use when the time is right. In this Q&A our Grin community has the opportunity to gain some valuable insights and advice from our very own parenting expert Sarah Therese, who hails from Canada. Sarah herself is pregnant, and she felt this was an opportune moment to reach out to her audience and invite questions from them on oral care during pregnancy and what are the best oral care products to use. Sarah is a huge advocate of the Grin range of natural toothpastes mainly because they contain no chemicals or artificial ingredients. As a pregnant woman and mum-to-be, this completely natural range of kids toothpaste, gives her total peace of mind and makes her feel safe, and that’s something we can all #grintogether about.
We hope that these questions and answers will provide all mums with a bit more clarity and peace of mind regarding how best to approach their oral care journey.
Q: Does the toothpaste you use have the ability to affect the baby, and do certain chemicals pose as issues for either the mum or baby?
A: Dr Erica Tam openly states that maintaining good oral health is significant during pregnancy. She advises that in general, the toothpaste you use while pregnant will not negatively affect your baby’s development, however a particular caution she does raise is that one should always spit out all toothpaste after you complete brushing, as the fetus’ brain development may be affected by high levels of fluoride. However, drinking tap water containing fluoride is safe!
Particularly important for all mums is to remember to brush their teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day. Even if you feel that your gums are painful due to hormonal changes, Dr Tam encourages this oral hygiene routine be followed. Healthy gums are imperative to prevent periodontitis which has been linked to preterm births. And if you are one of those unfortunate mums who experience morning sickness, rinse your mouth with warm water to wash away any residual stomach acids in your mouth. Finally, Dr Tam’s advice is to ensure that you keep up on your dentist visits, especially to fix any problematic teeth so you can provide nutrients to your body and baby comfortably.
Q: Myth or Fact: Pregnancy depletes your teeth of calcium.
A: This is such a myth! Sarah Liebkemann states that it’s such a common misconception that a fetus can draw calcium from the mother's teeth. The fact is, a developing baby cannot draw calcium out of the pregnant mother’s TEETH. The truth is that if a baby does not get the sufficient amount of calcium that it requires (especially in the last 3 months of its development), the baby can draw calcium from its mother’s bones! Because teeth are technically not bones, this poses no risk to a mum’s teeth during pregnancy. Sarah Liebkemann does advise, however that pregnant woman should consume a healthy amount of calcium to prevent osteoporosis.
However, as Sarah advises, pregnant women do have a higher risk of tooth decay for different reasons. Morning sickness for instance, can cause erosion, which in turn weakens the enamel of the teeth, and cravings can cause an increased amount of snacking.
Q: Is it true that your gums will bleed more while you are pregnant?
A: This is an excellent question and one that most mums have on their minds as the main concern. Sarah Liebkemann says that pregnancy can indeed contribute to bleeding gums due to fluctuating hormones. This also makes a women’s gums more sensitive to plaque which is called “pregnancy gingivitis.” Even though it can be relatively mild, it can progress into something more severe called “periodontitis.”
“Research has shown that periodontitis may be linked to preeclampsia, low birth weight, and premature birth,” says Sarah Liebkeman. Sarah advises that to prevent periodontitis and control gingivitis, proper oral hygiene and regular dentist visits are critically important throughout the pregnancy to monitor your oral health.
Being pregnant is not only an exciting time for mums, but it’s also a time when things can feel slightly uncertain. As mums, we always want to do the best for our bodies and our kids, and more importantly, feel confident that we are giving our children a great start to life. We hope these tips in our Q&A provided you with some much-needed advice and guidance so that you can feel safer and more secure as you enter your motherhood journey. We love it when our Grin community can grin together as happy, confident mums!