Bad breath can be an unpleasant side effect of pregnancy. Either due to hormone changes, dehydration, morning sickness, gas built up in your stomach or just nauseated by your toothpaste it can be an unwelcome problem. Oral hygiene is a must.
1. It is essential to have the right toothbrush. If your gums are in relatively normal condition, a medium hardness toothbrush would be the right one for you. I would suggest being willing to spend the extra couple of dollars and get the higher quality toothbrush; this is not the place to save a couple of bucks.
2. Non-waxed dental floss ideally is the way to go. It is rare to find the non-waxed floss at health food stores; so finding it online is the solution. I think there is also an extra thin floss to be had for those with teeth close together.
3. Use a tongue scraper. It is not wise to brush your tongue with your toothbrush. The ‘Ama’, which is the Tibetan word for the toxins your body puts out overnight (from the day before) onto the surface of your tongue, are dead white cells or puss your magical body has gathered to release. If you brush your tongue with your toothbrush and then brush your teeth with it, you are actually spreading puss over them and onto your gums. You have also ruined your toothbrush. Tongue scrapers have been used for centuries (over five thousand years) in many cultures from Rome to China to India, and many scientists believe using a tongue scraper may help reduce tooth decay and periodontal disease. In addition to removing bacteria, scraping your tongue also stimulates digestive enzymes, so you’ll find that your food tastes better, as will water. Once you feel how clean your mouth feels after using a silver (nothing removes bacteria better than silver) tongue scraper, I can’t imagine you’ll ever want to go without one.
4. Oral health has an important effect on systemic health. I also recommend using a gum rejuvenation solution after scraping and brushing. Learning about essential oils and how to make your own gum rejuvenation solution, as well as toothpaste, are essential life skills at this point in time. Personally I like to use 7 drops of lavender, 3 of clove, 5 of peppermint, 3 of Neem, 5 of tea-tree, 3 of Goldenseal, and 2 of Oregano oil in a quart mason jar full of water.
At the end of my routine, I like to rinse with water.
By following a good oral hygiene practice while pregnant, or any time of your life, you are doing your body a great service and believe it or not protecting your liver too!
Image Credit: Emma Whitney Photography