Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Teeth, Gums and Me...

I have a terrible confession to make.  I haven't been to the dentist in well over a year - seriously, you can't take a toddler to the dentist with you, it just doesn't work.  I usually only go to the dentist when I'm pregnant or have a small child - which lets face it, has been most of the last nine years.  The reason I go to the dentist then is not just because it's free - although that's a major reason - it's because I always get bleeding gums when I'm pregnant and I always grind my teeth when I have a small baby in the house.

The grinding teeth started when my baby sister was born.  Thirteen years younger than me.  It was a bit of a shock to the system to have a small baby in the house.  I don't ever remember waking up in the night because of her crying, but every morning I woke up with an aching jaw.  After a few weeks my jaw began to stiffen until one day I woke up and I could only just pull my teeth apart about a finger height.  We went to the doctor who referred me to a Dental Surgeon.  He asked if there had been any big changes in my life recently.  Well, apart from a new baby sister...  It turned out that I had been grinding my teeth so much in the night that I had dislocated my jaw.  I was given a mouth guard to protect my teeth - I went through at least two to my memory before I stopped needing it.  I also remember having to cut up food pretty small for a week or so until my jaw loosened.

When I had my first daughter I began grinding my teeth again.  Once again the dentist gave me a mouth guard.  Since we were in Gibraltar when Mr J was born we didn't bother with the mouth guard - I had massages instead (much nicer idea) to ease the tension in my neck and jaw.  I've had the same problems with each of the others - all the tension of being alert to the cries of a small child go to my neck and jaw and I wake up gritting my teeth with a stiff neck.  It wasn't so bad with Miss A since she was such a good sleeper, but is back full force with Mr M...

The other problem I have always had since my first pregnancy is the 'Pink Toothbrush' syndrome - bleeding gums.  It only occurs during pregnancy and the first months after the baby is born for me, but it is so distressing.  When I was given the opportunity to try the Oral B Pro-Expert Premium Gum Protection toothpaste and review it for a competition with BritMums, I thought I'd give it a go.  I'll be honest and say since Mr M is now over six months the bleeding gums have pretty much cleared up already, but anything that can help get my gums healthy again has got to be worth a try.

So, here's a bit of a review:  First impressions, it tastes good.  This is a major bonus, since some toothpastes do really taste awful.  I'm also really pleased that it's for sensitivity as well, since I've always had sensitive teeth.  The third thing that surprised me is that it's been making my teeth whiter since I started using it.  I use a whitening toothpaste usually, but I have noticed a real difference in the last week or so - I really didn't expect that, it's not why I was using it.

As to gum health, I have no idea really if it's making a difference - sometimes you just have to trust that the experts really do know what they're talking about and it's not just clever marketing.  I can say I've had only very occasional signs of blood when brushing or flossing since I started - but as I say it's usually better around this point anyway.  I suspect that after five pregnancies it would be hard to tell.  Certainly I'm no longer really in a preventative position with my gums - the damage has already started.  I am keen, however, to minimise any further problems, and I'm hoping using a specialist toothpaste will be a start to that.

So, in conclusion, if you're worried about the health of your gums - and if you're pregnant you really should be thinking about it - it's worth giving the Oral B Pro-Expert a try.  What have you got to loose?  Well, hopefully not your teeth!

I'd also recommend checking out the advice on the BritMums Website - What you need to know about healthy gums  There are some really useful pointers.  I wasn't given any advice regarding gums or teeth when I was pregnant with my first child eight years ago, and I wish I had known more about it.  I'm so glad that the information is available to other new mothers.

This post is an entry for BritMums’ #ORALBLoveYourGums Challenge  sponsored by Oral-B, promoting healthy gums – something especially important for pregnant women. Get tips and advice on www.oralb-loveyourgums.com.


  1. Agree, completely impossible to go to the dentists with little ones in tow! When my twin daughters were little I always said I'd take them anywhere with me - this didn't last long after the amount of chaos they could cause in such a short time proved just to stressful! Used to plead with relatives to take them off my hands so that I could attend appointments in peace after that!

  2. I can imagine twins were pretty tricky! I find any appointment difficult with kids, but the dentist is hardest because you can't hold the child or even see them when you're lying back on the chair! Even if you've got a baby in a pram there isn't usually space for them in the room with you.


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