Before I got pregnant, I heard that having a bun in the oven could cause major dental issues. I never really thought or researched much about it, except to help a few preggo clients straighten out their dental regimens when they began having teeth problems. The first thing I want to point out is that it is extra important to take care of your teeth while you’re pregnant. The reason your teeth are at high risk for problems during pregnancy is because an increase in hormones changes the way your teeth react to plaque. Gum inflammation is common, and you may experience redness, swelling, bleeding, and even more serious gum disease. In the worst cases, this can cause premature labor.
It’s not true that if you’re calcium intake is too low that your baby will steal it from your teeth–babies are not parasites. They will get what they need from the food (and supplements) you ingest, and you get to use the leftovers. That said, it’s important for you to have adequate intake of nutrients that support healthy teeth for both you and your baby, but the main thing the average person needs to do to keep her teeth and gums healthy during pregnancy is to practice good hygiene.
If you’re holistically minded, I suggest you find a holistically minded dentist. Otherwise, you may have to fight to avoid things you don’t want in excess — x-rays, fluoride treatments, etc. You need to have a baseline dental exam and expert opinion tailored specifically to you. Always work with a dentist you trust before you blindly follow Internet advice!
If your teeth are generally healthy, and you’re just pregnant and experiencing bleeding gums, fear not! I have found a way to help the bleeding stop naturally.
Before I tell you the secret though, it’s also important for you to spruce up your daily regimen.
1. Use a soft-bristled brush only and don’t scrub the heck out of your teeth! Brushing shouldn’t be abrasive, and if you brush too hard, you’ll irritate your gums.
2. Use more natural dental products. You can make your own toothpaste or use one from the store (I’ll admit, I’ve never made my own toothpaste). The important thing for bleeding gums is to brush frequently (twice a day) and gently and keep your teeth clean. Since you’re pregnant, if you want to keep your chemical exposure down, you can successfully have a healthy mouth without the harsher substances in mainstream toothpastes and mouthwashes. (Be sure you check with your dentist about the products you choose!).
3. Don’t be a floss-nazi! Floss once a day. Be as gentle as you can. If your gums are bleeding a lot when you floss, skip it for now and add it back in later when your gums have healed a bit.
Now you’re ready to learn the secret trick for stopping bleeding gums!
Add oil pulling to your daily regimen!
This is the number one thing that made my gums stop bleeding during pregnancy. I started by doing this once a day for 20 minutes (I skipped 2 days the first week because I forgot and/or I was lazy). In just one week, my gums were barely bleeding at all. Within two weeks, they stopped bleeding completely.
Here’s What You Do:
Take a large spoonful of coconut oil (refined or unrefined—it doesn’t matter), and put it in your mouth. Chew it until it melts, but don’t swallow it! (If that gags you, melt it first–just make it warm though, not hot!). Swish it around your mouth for 20 minutes. You may have to work up to that amount of time–and that’s definitely ok! Even 10 minutes will be helpful.
Don’t swallow the oil–it has all the gunk from your mouth suspended in it. Spit it into your kitchen trash or any trash that has a bag or liner. Don’t spit it down a drain because it can solidify and clog it.
After you spit out the oil, rinse your mouth out with water, and move on with your day!
My recommendation is to do it while you’re working on something or taking a shower. You’ll be thinking about other things and you’ll just swish along, not noticing how quickly the time goes! Once your bleeding gums are cured (probably after a week or two), you can drop down to a maintenance plan and just do the oil pulling 2 or 3 times a week.
In addition to stopping your gums from bleeding, this will also make your mouth healthier overall. It will potentially whiten your teeth and freshen your breath too! I chose coconut oil because of its antibacterial properties, but you really can swish with a different type of oil if you like. Do NOT use vegetable or canola oil. The best choices are coconut or sunflower oil, according to the Internet, but I still like the idea of coconut oil the best!
Have you ever tried oil pulling?
What have you tried to stop your bleeding gums?