Dental Health and Morning Sickness

When morning sickness is on the attack 24/7, and the smell of the anything can send you hurling your way to the bathroom, how on earth do you manage to look after your teeth?  Here are some ideas to get you through.

For me, life pregnant with #2 was a 9 month 24/7 struggle of holding back nausea.  I slept with a bucket beside me and carried brown paper bags with me to and from work.  To the outside world, I looked composed.  A little green but composed.  My handbag showed a different story, hiding the 3 bags it took me to get the 15-minute commute to work.  Just before birth, I weighed 5 kilos (a bit over 10lb) less than when I got pregnant.  Not what I was expecting given the size of my belly!

So, if you are like I was, and the thought of brushing your teeth triggers a morning sickness bout (making the brushing teeth redundant) then I have some tricks on how you may through.  After all, looking after your teeth is essential.

The risk of gum disease

The hormonal changes that accompany pregnancy can lead to a greater risk of inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) or a chronic gum infection leading to loss of teeth (periodontal disease).

In addition, the constant vomiting continually subjects your teeth to gastric acid which can damage your tooth enamel and increase your risk of tooth decay.

And that’s before we get to any of those sugary cravings you may be able to keep down.

What can you do?

  • If you use a hard or medium toothbrush, swap to a softer one.  Or better yet, swap to a toddler or baby toothbrush, they are soft and have a compact head.  Your last resort may be using your finger and a small amount of toothpaste on it.
  • If you are using an electric toothbrush, swap to manual.
  • Slow down the brushing action.  Yes, it will take twice as long, but if you can get through the task without throwing up, then it was worthwhile.
  • If it is the smell or taste of the toothpaste that sets you off, brush with water and rinse with fluoridated mouthwash.
  • Don’t brush your teeth after vomiting.  The gastric acid from your stomach softens your tooth enamel and you don’t want to damage it by then scrubbing at it.  If you need to, rinse with a fluoridated mouthwash and brush your teeth 30 mins later.
  • Make sure you continue with your dental check-ups during pregnancy. And tell your dentist about any concerns you may have with your gums.

Sending you love.  And remember, the morning sickness doesn’t last forever.


Hi! Natural Birth and Motherhood is about empowering women who are going through the stages of pregnancy, birth, or motherhood.  Find out more useful information on related topics by clicking on the Blog button below.

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