During pregnancy, experiencing heightened sensitivity to taste and smell is common, and this can sometimes lead to an unexpected issue: gagging while brushing your teeth. But why does this happen, and what can you do about it? Let’s explore.
Why Does Pregnancy Make Me Gag While Brushing?
Increased Sensitivity During Pregnancy
Pregnancy brings hormonal changes that can heighten your senses, including taste and smell. This increased sensitivity may make the flavor of your toothpaste, or the sensation of brushing, more likely to trigger your gag reflex.
Morning Sickness and Oral Care
If you’re suffering from morning sickness, the act of brushing your teeth might seem daunting. The physical act of brushing, especially when reaching the back teeth, can sometimes induce gagging, especially if you’re already feeling nauseous.
Tips to Avoid Gagging While Brushing During Pregnancy
Change Your Toothpaste
Switching to a mild or flavorless toothpaste can help reduce gagging. There are many options available specifically designed for people with sensitive gag reflexes or pregnant women struggling with morning sickness.
Alter Your Brushing Technique
Try using a smaller toothbrush or altering the angle at which you brush. Brushing more slowly and taking breaks can also help manage your gag reflex.
Maintain Regular Dental Check-ups
Even if brushing is difficult, maintaining good oral hygiene is important during pregnancy. Regular dental check-ups will help ensure your teeth and gums stay healthy.
Why Pregnancy Affects Your Gag Reflex
Why Do I Gag While Brushing My Teeth During Pregnancy?
Pregnancy hormones can enhance your sense of smell and taste, making you more susceptible to nausea and gagging, especially while brushing your teeth. Your gag reflex may also be heightened due to increased blood flow and changes in your body’s responses.
When Does Pregnancy Gagging Start and Stop?
Increased sensitivity can begin early in pregnancy, often around the same time morning sickness starts. This heightened gag reflex usually diminishes after the first trimester but can last longer in some cases.
How to Manage Your Gag Reflex During Pregnancy
How Can I Brush My Teeth Without Gagging During Pregnancy?
You can try changing your toothpaste to one with a milder flavor or brushing at different times of the day when nausea isn’t as intense. Using a smaller toothbrush can also help, as can focusing on breathing through your nose while brushing.
How Do I Stop My Gag Reflex?
Aside from altering your brushing routine, you can also try desensitization techniques, like gently touching the areas of your mouth that trigger the reflex with a toothbrush or your finger over time to get used to the sensation.
What Medication Can Stop the Gag Reflex?
While there are medications that can suppress the gag reflex, they should only be used under the guidance of a healthcare professional and are typically not recommended during pregnancy. Always consult your doctor before taking any new medication.
Dental Care During Pregnancy
Can Not Brushing Teeth Affect Pregnancy?
Yes, maintaining oral hygiene is vital during pregnancy. Gum disease can increase the risk of preterm birth and low birth weight, so regular brushing and flossing are essential.
How Many Times a Day Should You Brush Your Teeth While Pregnant?
Brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and floss daily. If morning sickness makes this difficult, try brushing at different times and rinse your mouth with water if you vomit.
Why Can’t You Whiten Teeth While Pregnant?
Teeth whitening products often contain chemicals that haven’t been thoroughly tested for safety during pregnancy, so it’s best to avoid them until after your baby is born.
How SleepBaby.org Can Help
While SleepBaby.org specializes in helping your baby get a good night’s sleep, they know that your comfort and wellbeing directly influence your baby’s rest patterns. Experiencing unpleasant sensations, such as gagging while brushing your teeth, can be distressing and potentially disrupt your sleep.
SleepBaby.org believes that understanding the causes of such issues and learning effective solutions can help you maintain a peaceful and comfortable pregnancy. This not only benefits you but also creates an optimal environment for your baby’s development and future sleep habits.
Remember, a relaxed and well-rested mom contributes significantly to a peaceful, well-rested baby. Visit SleepBaby.org for more information and resources on promoting healthy sleep habits for you and your little one.