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If you keep up with me on social media, you know that I’ve been dealing with my fair share of dental health issues. Initially, I had feelings of shame because I felt like it meant my oral hygiene was poor. But that’s not the case. I remembered my Facebook friend sharing something about how mothers lose teeth during pregnancy. While I’ve never lost an entire tooth, I’ve had quite a few chipped teeth and some rather expensive dental issues.
And you know what it’s from? My kids.
Your Children Are Causing Some of Your Dental Health Problems
Yep, those super cute little bundles are out there stealing your vitamin D, calcium, and the gravity from your boobs. During each of my pregnancies, I tried to down my prenatal vitamins unsuccessfully. With Mini, I vomited an average of 4 times a day–1 of them always being immediately after taking my prenatal horse pill, er, vitamin. My following pregnancies were no easier on me trying to keep my prenatal vitamins down (I really wish I had known about Ritual vitamins then).
With my first pregnancy, my mom was adament about me taking my vitamins, citing that “They will get what they need from your body whether you have it to give or not.” And this is the biggest fact ever. Because I could barely keep food or water down, let alone a vitamin, my body was in a nutrient deficit to begin with. Having my little person inside me steal from my reserve, only weakened things like my dental health even more. And the same is likely true for other mothers struggling with dental problems.
But I talked to my dentist towards the end of my last appointment and asked him for some advice on how to keep mother’s teeth healthy and in their mouths. Here was his advice.
Advice From My Dentist On How To Keep Your Teeth Healthy And In Your Mouth: Mother’s Edition
- Take your prenatal vitamin diligently. My advice: if you can’t stomach the pills, get a liquid one like this one here.
- Make sure that you’re getting specifically enough vitamin D and calcium. Not sure how much to take? Have your blood checked for levels. My healthcare specialist has already “prescribed” 10,000 IUs daily to me of vitamin D based on my bloodwork.
- Take your prenatal vitamins through nursing your baby. This is also a really good time to have your bloodwork done to see if there are any deficiencies already happening that you can get a jumpstart on replenishing.
- Get a healthy serving of collagen daily. My favorite way to get my collagen in is with my coffee. I use Vital Proteins and they have collagen available in all sorts of ways from water to snacks.
- If you vomit, make sure to floss and rinse your mouth out with water at a bare minimum. This will help to offset the amount of acid that breaks down your teeth on the surface and in between your teeth.
- Floss every.single.night. Seriously. Like keep floss everywhere and don’t be bashful about it.
- See your dentist for your normal cleanings during your pregnancy so they can check the state of your teeth and keep an eye on things to make sure nothing is developing.
Shame Surrounding The Need For Intense Dental Health Work
I thought that it was just me experiencing shame because my teeth were chipping left and right leaving me needing root canals, crowns, etc. But as I shared more, mother’s came forward sharing that they were having the same issues with their dental health and they were feeling bad about it too. Here’s the thing: We shouldn’t feel badly and we shouldn’t be made to feel bad either. If you noticed, the advice from my dentist didn’t have much to do with hygiene habits. That’s because most of these issues are caused by what’s happening on the inside.
It is SO hard to make sure that we are taking care of OUR health while being so worried about the health of the life we’re creating. I want you to know that you aren’t alone in these feelings. It IS hard but listen: you matter. Your teeth matter. Your health matters. Make sure that you’re taking care of yourself first. If you aren’t feeling 100%, you can’t show up the way you’d like to for your loved ones. Remember that. And if a dentist ever makes you feel ashamed, get a new dentist.
Some Helpful Resources:
These are some things that I’ve found helpful as it pertains to my dental health:
- Prenatal Vitamins: Ritual Vitamins (they have mint in them making them easier to stomach), Nature’s Made Prenatals (they have high amounts of vitamin D in them), Mary Ruth’s Liquid Prenatal
- Low-Waste/Non-Toxic Floss: Water flossers are really good. And so is this floss that is plastic and PFAS free.
- Dental Plans: Dental insurance is really more like a discount plan. DentalPlans.com offers a really good supplemental (or primary) dental plan for $149 annually. Find a dentist that accepts the plan and it makes paying for your dental work way easier.
- AskTheDentist on Instagram is a wealth of information too.
- If you’re in the Atlanta-area, I highly recommend Dental TLC. It’s on Roswell Rd and I’ve never felt so comfortable and accepted at a dental office.
Please make sure that you’re taking care of your teeth. No one should be in pain or unable to eat because of the state of your teeth. The health of your gums and teeth impacts your overall health so make sure you’re taking good care of them!