I kneel by the bathtub, panting.
No, I can’t continue this ritual.
I looked at my blood-stained brush. Can I afford to stop now?
My tongue roam over my dentition. It still had that furry feel.
I’ve got to continue! I steeled myself, got up and resumed my ritual.
“Ch, ch, ch” The strokes were faster this time.
The queasy feeling resumes
“Ch, ch, ch,” Faster and faster I go.
I open my mouth to brush my inner dentition. The queasiness is overwhelming.
Timeyin, you must hold yourself. It takes tons of self-control to quell the nausea.
I get to the final and most dreadful part of the ritual: I turn my brush the other way to reveal the tongue scrapper, close my eyes, hold my breath and stick out my tongue.
With the fastest speed I could muster, I scrub my tongue vigorously..
My bowels revolt and I let go.
“Huurgh, huuurgh, huuuuuuurgh” I feel the sickening taste of bile. That triggers another round of vomiting. My knees give way. I kneel and lay my head on the edge of the bathtub.
I stare at my inflated tummy. 13 weeks to go.
13 weeks of this awful daily ritual.
Father in Heaven, I need grace.
Dear Mom, I have been there. The nausea and vomitting; the gum bleeding that occurs when you brush. Truly, this ritual is awful. But you must continue. It’s especially important to keep up your routine, as poor dental habits during pregnancy have been associated with premature delivery, intrauterine growth restriction, gestational diabetes and preeclampsia.
Some pregnant women may find that they are prone to pregnancy gingivitis—a mild form of gum disease that causes gums to be red, tender and sore. This is as a result of hormanal changes during pregnacy. You can prevent gingivitis by keeping your teeth clean. If you notice any changes in your mouth during pregnancy, see your dentist. If gingivitis is not treated, it can lead to more serious gum disease. Clean where the toothbrush doesn’t: Make sure to floss every day; toothbrushes can leave as much as 40% of your tooth surfaces untouched. Mouthrinses are also helpful.
Did you know that your baby’s teeth will begin to develop between the third and sixth months? That’s why you need a sufficient quantity of nutrients—especially vitamins A, C, and D, protein, calcium and phosphorous. While it’s normal for pregnant woman to have the desire to eat more, frequent snacking can be an invitation to tooth decay. When you do snack, choose foods that are low in sugar and nutritious for you and your baby such as raw fruits and vegetables, yogurt, or cheese. Pregnancy supplements can be helpful in ensuring your body has adequate nutrition supply.
If you have morning sickness and are vomiting frequently, try rinsing with a teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate mixed with water to stop stomach acid from attacking your teeth and causing tooth decay.
Indeed, oral hygiene is a big deal in pregnancy and inspite of the odds, you must maintain healthy oral habits.