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The 6 Best Toothpastes For Pregnancy, According To A Dentist

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Though brushing your teeth is always important, it’s especially true during pregnancy, which carries an increased risk of gingivitis. “Pregnancy gingivitis occurs because of rising hormonal levels and changes during pregnancy, making the gums more tender and prone to bleeding. A good oral hygiene routine will help to minimize bleeding, reduce bacterial buildup, and improve gum tenderness,” Dr. Leonard Umanoff of Brooklyn’s LuxDen Dental Center tells Romper. The best toothpastes for pregnancy are free from potentially irritating ingredients, such as artificial sweeteners and dyes, and the right one for you will come in a flavor that won't trigger your morning sickness.

Both the American Dental Association and Dr. Umanoff recommend using toothpaste with fluoride during pregnancy. “The ADA has approved fluoride as safe for everyone to use, including expecting mothers. Fluoride has been proven beneficial in the prevention of tooth decay and is an important ingredient in a daily toothpaste,” says Dr. Umanoff. However, if you’d prefer a non-fluoride option, remineralizing toothpastes have been found to be just as effective for cavity prevention. “Natural tooth enamel and bones are composed of a mineral called hydroxyapatite, and these toothpastes provide this mineral as a fluoride-alternative option to help strengthen tooth enamel and aid in preventing decay,” Dr. Umanoff explains. Dicalcium phosphate dihydrate is another compound similar to hydroxyapatite, and Dr. Umanoff says it’s “a gentle abrasive that cleans your teeth as well as [provides] nutrients to strengthen enamel, especially when combined with fluoride.” Both hydroxyapatite and dicalcium phosphate dihydrate “are beneficial ingredients for helping protect enamel against tooth decay.” Another popular ingredient is xylitol, though it’s not necessarily as effective as fluoride. Dr. Umanoff explains: “Tooth decay is caused by harmful oral bacteria that process sugars to create acids which break down healthy tooth structure. Xylitol cannot be digested by cavity-causing bacteria, and blocks them from growing and producing acid byproducts found in plaque.”

Whether you choose to support your teeth with fluoride or not, there are some other ingredients to be aware of during pregnancy. According to Dr. Umanoff, you should avoid triclosan, parabens, preservatives, and artificial dyes and sweeteners, and all of the products below are free from those ingredients. If you’re prone to canker sores, choose an option that’s free of sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), a foaming agent found in many toothpastes. And while “whitening products are generally considered safe to use during pregnancy,” according to Dr. Umanoff, they “may aggravate gingival tissues and cause more discomfort and inflammation to your gums,” so you may want to avoid them if your teeth are sensitive.

Finally, given that toothpaste aversion is common during pregnancy, the best toothpastes for pregnancy include a variety of non-mint and flavor-free options. Whichever one you choose, Dr. Umanoff recommends using a soft or extra-soft toothbrush and flossing regularly to keep that smile in tip-top shape.

1. The Fan-Favorite Fluoride Toothpaste With 4.7 Stars

  • Flavor: Peppermint, also available in spearmint
  • Contains: Fluoride

In addition to cavity-preventing fluoride, this minty toothpaste contains licorice root to block odor-producing germs. The toothpaste has more than 3,000 reviews from Amazon shoppers and an impressive 4.7-star overall rating, which is no surprise considering that Tom’s of Maine is an extremely popular brand when it comes to natural, cruelty-free products. Plus, you can recycle the toothpaste tube once it runs out. However, this toothpaste contains sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS).

One positive review: “Best toothpaste ever! It makes your teeth feel clean and fresh. I've had better reports from my dentist than ever before. Not to mention, it makes me actually want to brush my teeth.”

2. The Best Remineralizing Toothpaste

  • Flavor: Mint with cardamom and green tea
  • Contains: Hydroxyapatite
  • Fluoride-free
  • SLS-free

As an alternative to fluoride, this remineralizing toothpaste is formulated with nano-hydroxyapatite that works to rebuild enamel, reduce sensitivity, and reverse micro-cavities. The pregnancy-friendly formula has a unique, refreshing flavor, and it’s vegan and cruelty-free. Another well-loved toothpaste, it has a 4.7-star overall rating and more than 6,000 reviews.

One positive review: “I have had extremely sensitive teeth since the beginning of my pregnancy [...] Apparently sometimes the increased blood volume and hormones from pregnancy can put more pressure on the teeth roots. BUT, within 3 days of using this toothpaste, my sensitivity has almost completely disappeared!”

3. A Non-Mint Remineralizing Toothpaste

  • Flavor: Chocolate, also available in mixed berry and strawberry banana
  • Contains: Dicalcium phosphate dihydrate
  • Fluoride-free
  • SLS-free

If you’re experiencing an aversion to mint flavors, this Dr. Sheffield’s toothpaste offers alternatives, including delicious chocolate. It also contains dicalcium phosphate dihydrate to help clean your teeth and strengthen enamel. The pregnancy-friendly toothpaste is certified natural by the Natural Product Association, and it’s highly rated with over 4,000 five-star reviews. And if you do like mint, this toothpaste is also available in peppermint and wintergreen, as well as mint-flavored whitening and sensitive teeth formulas.

One promising review: “Pregnancy gag reflex would not tolerate much, but this toothpaste doesn't make me sick. It also doesn't leave that nasty slimy film on your teeth like [a lot] of other "natural" toothpastes, but my teeth still feel clean all day. And oh my gosh, chocolate??”

4. The Best Whitening Toothpaste

  • Flavor: Mint
  • Contains: Fluoride
  • SLS-free

In addition to keeping your teeth healthy, this toothpaste can help whiten teeth using a natural, calcium mineral blend. The list of ingredients also includes peppermint, tea tree oil, and coconut oil to freshen breath and provide moisture. What’s more, the whitening fluoride toothpaste has garnered more than 4,000 reviews and has an impressive 4.7-star overall rating, and it’s vegan and cruelty-free.

One promising review: “Love this brand and definitely recommend it for people with sensitivity to harsher whitening toothpastes. Gentle with great flavor that gives you a desirable clean.”

5. The Best Flavor-Free Toothpaste

  • Flavor-free
  • Contains: Xylitol
  • Fluoride-free
  • SLS-free

Though it’s made for children, this flavor-free toothpaste is a great choice for adults experiencing flavor aversion during pregnancy (or anyone who prefers an unflavored option). The fluoride-free toothpaste contains xylitol, a sugar substitute that’s found in some oral hygiene products. The toothpaste also contains calendula, which may reduce plaque, and it’s vegan and cruelty-free.

One promising review: “If you or someone you know cannot handle the flavor of toothpaste, this is what you need! Good texture, as flavorless as it can be.”

6. A Toothpaste Designed To Relieve Sensitivity

  • Flavor: Mint
  • Contains: Arginine bicarbonate, calcium carbonate, xylitol
  • Fluoride-free

The arginine and calcium carbonate in this toothpaste for sensitive teeth seal the pathways to tooth nerves and may help block pain. It also contains xylitol to help block cavity-causing bacteria. In addition to brushing twice a day, you can use this toothpaste to spot treat pain by massaging a small amount onto the tooth. The cruelty-free formula comes in a recyclable tube and it’s backed by a 4.7-star overall rating after more than 5,000 reviews. However, it does contain SLS.

One promising review: “I am using this while I’m pregnant as I started experiencing severe pregnancy teeth sensitivity. I can say after two days of using this my teeth feel fine. No more sensitivity!”

Expert:

Dr. Leonard Umanoff of Brooklyn’s LuxDen Dental Center

Studies referenced:

Amaechi, B. T., AbdulAzees, P. A., Okoye, L. O., Meyer, F., & Enax, J. (2020). Comparison of hydroxyapatite and fluoride oral care gels for remineralization of initial caries: a pH-cycling study. BDJ open, 6, 9. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41405-020-0037-5

Meyer, F., Amaechi, B. T., Fabritius, H. O., & Enax, J. (2018). Overview of Calcium Phosphates used in Biomimetic Oral Care. The open dentistry journal, 12, 406–423. https://doi.org/10.2174/1874210601812010406

Khairnar, M. S., Pawar, B., Marawar, P. P., & Mani, A. (2013). Evaluation of Calendula officinalis as an anti-plaque and anti-gingivitis agent.Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology,17(6), 741–747. https://doi.org/10.4103/0972-124X.124491NLMKhairnar MS, Pawar B, Marawar PP, Mani A. Evaluation of Calendula officinalis as an anti-plaque and anti-gingivitis agent. J Indian Soc Periodontol. 2013 Nov;17(6):741-7. doi: 10.4103/0972-124X.124491. PMID: 24554883; PMCID: PMC3917203.

Nayak, P. A., Nayak, U. A., & Khandelwal, V. (2014). The effect of xylitol on dental caries and oral flora. Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dentistry, 6, 89–94. https://doi.org/10.2147/CCIDE.S55761

Ayad, F., Ayad, N., Vazquez, J., Zhang, Y. P., Mateo, L. R., & Cummins, D. (2018). Use of a toothpaste containing 8% arginine and calcium carbonate for immediate and lasting relief of dentin hypersensitivity: A simple and effective in-office procedure. American journal of dentistry, 31(3), 135–140.