While pregnancy nausea generally subsides after the first trimester, it does increase the risks for both tooth decay and erosion. Erosion is the disintegration of enamel caused by acid from the stomach. Drinking a glass of water or chewing a piece of sugar-free gum can protect the teeth by neutralizing the acid in the mouth. It might seem counterintuitive, but it’s important to wait at least five minutes after getting sick before reaching for a toothbrush. Otherwise, the toothbrush can pick up acid in the mouth and brush it into your teeth, causing erosion to progress even faster.
—Jackie Lanigan, DMD, general dentist with Konikoff Dentistry in Virginia Beach, Virginia