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Is it safe to use mouthwash while pregnant?

Is it safe to use mouthwash while pregnant?

By daniele

Mouthwash is safe to use while pregnant and can help you maintain good oral hygiene, especially if you have gingivitis because of your fluctuating hormone levels.

Mouthwash can also assist with many other health issues, such as:

  • Cavity avoidance
  • Pain reduction
  • Teeth bleaching
  • Poor breath

The American Dental Association (ADA) advises using fluoride toothpaste twice a day and flossing once a day to maintain dental health during pregnancy. Additionally, they claim that using mouthwash is ineffective as a substitute for brushing and flossing, so be sure to stick to your regular schedule.

The ADA advises choosing an over-the-counter mouthwash with its Seal of Acceptance, which indicates the product is safe and effective, rather than one your dentist may prescribe to treat more serious diseases.

Mouthwashes are typically divided into two categories: cosmetic and therapeutic. Cosmetic mouthwashes can temporarily control bad breath and have a pleasant taste but otherwise have no health benefits. Therapeutic mouthwashes, on the other hand, contain active ingredients that are meant to treat or lessen specific health conditions.

Common examples of these active components are fluoride, which prevents dental decay, peroxide, which whitens teeth, cetylpyridinium chloride, which fights foul breath, essential oils, and a chlorhexidine (used to control plaque and gingivitis). Only mouthwashes that require a prescription include chlorhexidine.

Although it is improbable that alcohol would enter your baby’s system through mouthwash (unless you ingest it), experts nevertheless advise against using it. While alcohol is excellent in killing bacteria in your mouth, it also kills both good and harmful bacteria, making it potentially ineffective over the long term. Alcohol also tends to irritate your gums. But there are lots of mouthwashes available without alcohol.

If you frequently vomit due to morning sickness, you can use mouthwash to freshen your breath. Stomach acid from vomiting coats your teeth, eroding tooth enamel. Using a fluoride-containing rinse afterward can help protect your teeth and freshen your breath. Another method to stop enamel erosion is to rinse with a solution of a cup of water and a teaspoon of baking soda. (But avoid brushing your teeth for at least 30 minutes after vomiting since the acid weakens your tooth enamel and the abrasive components in toothpaste can harm it.)