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Hormonal changes during pregnancy bring with them oral health issues for some women, putting the pregnancy at a higher risk for miscarriage. Along with flossing and ensuring to brush your teeth at least twice a day, one of the most effective ways of ensuring oral hygiene is by using mouthwash.
Is Using Mouthwash When Pregnant Safe?
Experts have differing opinions on using mouthwash while pregnant as most types contain alcohol. No matter how little, alcohol can cause a lot of serious health issues for your baby, which is why doctors always recommend that women stop consuming alcohol as soon as they find out they are pregnant.
Since mouthwash is not directly ingested, is it OK to use mouthwash when pregnant? While some experts consider it safe, there is a small chance that it may cause harm and there are others who believe it is a risk that should not be taken.
How to Use Mouthwash While Pregnant?
If you feel you must use mouthwash or are recommended to do so due to dental problems, here are some tips for you to keep in mind:
- Consult with your doctor and find out her recommendations about what mouthwash is best for you to use.
- Make use of the alcohol-free mouthwash or ones made from natural ingredients
- Try using a natural and homemade rinse such as a baking soda and water solution
Risk of Using Alcohol and Fluoride Mouthwash During Pregnancy
Since using mouthwash with alcohol in it can cause problems with the developing baby’s cognitive development later in life and can even cause birth defects if ingested, dentists recommend using a fluoridated, alcohol-free mouthwash during pregnancy and some even suggest a fluoride rinse before bed to prevent plaque and keep gum problems at bay.
Here are some precautions to take if you are using mouthwash while pregnant:
- If you opt for a natural mouthwash, check the list of ingredients for Eucalyptus oil. This much be avoided as most experts are not sure of its safety for children and fetuses.
- If you use a rinse before bed, make sure that you do not eat or drink anything after you have rinsed your mouth to avoid reducing its effectiveness.
- If you use a rinse during the day, make sure that you do not eat or drink anything for at least half an hour after.
- Be careful not to swallow any of the mouthwash, especially if it contains alcohol, speak to your doctor if you do accidentally swallow some.
While the use of mouthwash during pregnancy does seem to be a debatable topic where some experts think it causes no harm while others believe it is harmful, it is always good to be on the safe side and avoid anything with alcohol. If you have oral problems, ensure your dentist is aware that you are pregnant so that she will be able to make good recommendations for mouthwash.