Best Toothpaste for Pregnant Women
There are probably few groups of people as inquisitive about healthy practices as expectant mothers, and one question we hear a lot is about the best toothpaste to use when pregnant. Some moms are concerned about safety. Others find that their favorite toothpaste now makes them nauseated. So, what is the best toothpaste to use when pregnant?
- Best for maintaining dental health: Fluoride toothpaste
- Best for managing nausea: Non-mint flavored toothpaste options
The good news is that the majority of over-the-counter toothpastes are safe during pregnancy. Proper oral care during pregnancy is vital for the health of mom and baby. Therefore, it’s crucial to identify a toothpaste that you find tolerable to maintain good dental hygiene.
Is My Toothpaste Safe for My Baby?
Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish scientifically-based advice from rumor or opinion. Expectant mothers, especially, are bombarded with information about what they should and should not do. Pregnant women wonder about the ingredients in dental products and if ingesting them even in small amounts could harm their unborn babies. Here is what pregnant women need to know about the safety of common toothpaste ingredients.
Yes, pregnant women can use fluoride toothpaste
A common concern about toothpaste safety involves the ingredient fluoride. Fluoride is a mineral that can be beneficial for dental health, as it helps prevent tooth decay and strengthens tooth enamel.
The American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) have determined that fluoride is a safe and effective way to prevent cavities for everyone, including pregnant women.
However, like many substances, it’s important to consider appropriate levels, especially during pregnancy. While large doses of fluoride are not recommended, very little fluoride is ingested while brushing teeth. Even less makes its way to the baby through the placenta.
Tips: Use only the recommended amount of toothpaste when brushing, which is a pea-sized dollop. Then, be sure to spit out excess toothpaste and avoid swallowing it. This way, mothers can get the benefits of fluoride for preventing cavities while avoiding the risks of excess fluoride consumption.
For people who wish to avoid fluoride when pregnant, there are toothpaste products on the market without fluoride, such as Burt’s Bees and Arm & Hammer.
Yes, you can use whitening toothpaste while pregnant
Whitening toothpaste contains abrasive particles or chemicals designed to help remove surface stains on teeth and make them appear whiter. While women may opt to delay professional teeth whitening treatments during pregnancy because of the chemicals used, the whitening substances in over-the-counter toothpaste are in small concentrations that do not pose a safety risk.
One thing to keep in mind is that some whitening toothpaste can cause tooth sensitivity, which a pregnant woman may wish to avoid. Because blood flow is increased during pregnancy, teeth may already be sensitive to hot, cold, or spicy foods, and whitening chemicals could increase that further.
Tips: In addition to using only the recommended amount of whitening toothpaste and spitting out all excess, pregnant women can try alternative approaches to whitening teeth. These include getting regular dental cleanings to remove plaque for a whiter smile and avoiding foods that stain teeth such as coffee, tea, and cola.
Yes, you can use charcoal toothpaste when pregnant (but may not want to)
Charcoal toothpaste has gained popularity for its purported ability to whiten teeth and remove stains. While charcoal toothpaste is generally considered safe to use when pregnant, little evidence supports the claim that it whitens teeth. In fact, due to a lack of research around its effectiveness, the American Dental Association does not recommend using charcoal toothpaste whether pregnant or not.
In addition, charcoal toothpaste typically does not contain fluoride, which is important for preventing tooth decay.
Tips: Consider using a whitening toothpaste instead, and/or avoid foods and drinks that stain teeth.
Best Toothpaste for Preventing Nausea in Pregnancy
Pregnancy-induced nausea, commonly known as morning sickness, can make the taste and smell of certain toothpaste unsettling for some women. The strong mint of most toothpaste products may be overwhelming during pregnancy.
Tips: Some women find that gel-based toothpaste is gentler and less likely to cause nausea than traditional paste formulations. Switching to a non-mint flavor can also help. Flavors like cinnamon, watermelon, orange, and lemon are available from brands such as Tom’s of Maine, Hello, Red Seal, and even Colgate and Crest. Options marketed for children and toddlers offer a variety of the same flavors in milder concentrations, or no flavor at all.
If switching up the flavor still doesn’t provide relief, there is completely flavor-free toothpaste. Try Cleure, Jack n Jill, or oraNurse brands.
For Questions About Toothpaste, Talk to Your Dentist
Always consult your healthcare provider or dentist for personalized advice on oral care during pregnancy. They may offer additional recommendations based on your specific health needs, concerns, and preferences. It’s important to maintain good oral hygiene during pregnancy to prevent dental issues, so finding a toothpaste that is tolerable for you is essential.
To find a dentist near you, use our online search tool.