Pregnancy is a sensitive time for both parent and child. While it may be an appealing idea to have fresh, pearly whites during such a beautiful time in life, is it safe to whiten teeth during pregnancy? Unfortunately, it isn't recommended; we still have not studied the fetal effects of using whitening products during pregnancy, and the potential observed risks may outweigh any benefits.
Pregnant people are also more prone to gum and tooth sensitivity – so whitening may not be the best choice.
Are you pregnant and wondering if you can whiten your teeth? It is a sympathetic situation; pregnancy can make you feel less confident, and you may want to look and feel your best while expecting. Read on for a comprehensive guide to whitening teeth during pregnancy and whether it is recommended.
Can You Whiten Your Teeth While Pregnant?
The safest answer we can offer here is no, you should not whiten your teeth while pregnant with in-practice or at-home teeth whitening methods. Healthline emphasizes the lack of studies on the effects of whitening products and treatments during pregnancy; it is therefore not recommended to use them as we cannot be sure if they are safe for you or your baby.
Professional teeth whitening is a chemical-heavy process. Carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide are two of the most common active ingredients used in whitening products, and they can be highly irritating to the gums and teeth.
Bleaching agents are also incredibly harmful if accidentally ingested due to user error.
Additionally, pregnant people tend to be much more prone to tooth and gum sensitivity than the general population – meaning whitening could cause a lot of pain and discomfort. While there are some over-the-counter teeth whitening kits available, these products contain milder concentrations of bleaching agents that may not give you the desired results.
How To Whiten Teeth While Pregnant?
If you still want to whiten your teeth while pregnant, the best method is to use natural teeth whitening options. Baking soda is a natural cleaning agent, so brushing with baking soda regularly can help to remove surface stains from your teeth over time. Some people even mash up strawberries with baking soda and use them as a toothpaste – the malic acid in strawberries can act as an effective whitening agent.
There are plenty of whitening toothpastes available on the market with non-harmful ingredients. These can help to remove surface stains, but will not be as effective as professional whitening treatments and may take longer to see results. Still, they are an excellent alternative to use while you wait for the end of your pregnancy.
Side Effects Of Teeth Whitening While Pregnant
Unfortunately, oral health and pregnancy don’t go very well together. Pregnancy can leave you prone to a number of oral sensitivities. Teeth whitening while pregnant can make these sensitivities worse or damage your teeth and gums, leading to further complications. Additionally, whitening products can be absorbed through the skin or swallowed, which could put your baby at risk of harm.
Here are some of the most common side effects associated with whitening teeth while pregnant:
When someone is pregnant, they experience a series of hormonal changes and fluctuations – and this quickly leads to a buildup of plaque. Their gums can become swollen and tender, making them more prone to irritation. Whitening products further irritate the gums; this can lead to bleeding, pain, and discomfort.
Tooth & Gum Sensitivity
According to the American Pregnancy Association, gingivitis and swollen gums are common among pregnant women. This is once again attributed to hormonal fluctuations; there is less blood flow to the gums and teeth, making them more sensitive. Whitening treatments only exacerbate this sensitivity, making it difficult to even eat and drink.
If hydrogen peroxide is applied to the teeth in too high a concentration, it can cause serious damage to the enamel and dentin.
Pregnancy already causes drastic changes in the diet and oral hygiene routine, so enamel damage is a real risk – which is why it is so important to avoid whitening products while pregnant.
Other Dental Issues
Whitening products can also cause dry mouth and bad breath. The bleaching agents strip away the natural protective layers of saliva in the mouth, leaving it more susceptible to bacteria growth. The last thing you want while pregnant is an increased risk of cavities, gum disease, and other dental issues, so it's best to avoid whitening products while expecting.
Pregnancy-Safe Teeth Whitening Alternatives During Pregnancy
So, we've discovered that it is probably better to steer clear of teeth whitening products while pregnant. Peer-reviewed studies are beginning to highlight the potential dangers of doing so. But that doesn't help us to achieve a whiter, brighter smile! Thankfully, there are some safe alternatives that you can use to improve your smile while pregnant.
While it may not contain fluoride or bleaching agents, baking soda is still a powerful and relatively inexpensive way to naturally whiten teeth. The mild abrasive action helps to remove surface stains and discoloration, giving you a brighter smile without the risk of irritation or damage. Baking soda has long been used as a cleanser for both household and personal hygiene products, so it is perfectly safe to use while pregnant.
To use baking soda as a teeth whitener, simply mix a tablespoon of powder with some water to form a paste. Then, brush your teeth with the paste like you would normal toothpaste. The baking soda should be used no more than once or twice per week to avoid any abrasive damage.
Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic remedy that has been used for centuries to improve oral health and hygiene. This method is incredibly simple – all you need to do is swish some sesame oil around your mouth for 20 minutes each day (no rinsing required!). This helps to reduce bacteria in the mouth, as well as remove surface stains from teeth. Oil pulling can also help improve gum health and reduce inflammation.
Teeth Whitening Toothpaste
Finally, there are some teeth whitening toothpastes that don't contain any bleaching agents or harsh abrasives. Such products are specially formulated to help remove surface stains and discoloration from your teeth without damaging the enamel.
Most of these toothpastes contain special ingredients like baking soda and hydrogen peroxide, which help to give your smile a brighter appearance without causing damage or irritation. However, it is important to note that they will not provide you with dramatic results.
Consult Your Physician First
When it comes to teeth whitening, safety should always be your top priority. Since the effects of whitening products can vary depending on each individual's teeth and gums, it is important to consult your physician before using any product – especially if you are pregnant. They will be able to compare in-chair vs at-home teeth whitening methods, as well as offer advice on which treatments are safe for use during pregnancy and which ones may put both you and your baby at risk.
Can I Use Mouthwash While Pregnant?
Mouthwash often contains alcohol and other chemicals that can be damaging to your unborn baby – but since it is a mouthwash, you are unlikely to swallow it.
Regular mouthwash use is proven to be safe for expectant mothers. It can be incredibly helpful for maintaining oral health and hygiene during pregnancy, as well as reducing plaque build-up, bad breath, and gingivitis.
Is Teeth Whitening Safe If I’m Breastfeeding?
There is simply not enough research to conclude whether in-office or at-home teeth whitening is safe for breastfeeding parents. Since the active ingredients in most whitening products can pass through breast milk, it is best to avoid using them while nursing; err on the side of caution and opt for one of the other safe whitening options listed above.
The Benefits Of Natural Teeth Whitening During Pregnancy
When you are in the midst of a physically and mentally taxing pregnancy, it can be easy to neglect your own self-care. But taking the time for a little pampering and personal hygiene can go a long way in making you feel better about yourself. Natural teeth whitening products are safe, affordable, and effective; they also provide a safe, chemical-free way to achieve whiter teeth without putting you or your baby at risk.
The benefits here are manifold. Not only do whiter teeth give you that boost of confidence and pride in your appearance, but they also help to keep your mouth healthy – something that is essential for expecting mothers. Simply having a freshly cleaned smile while you are pregnant can go a long way in helping you to feel confident and beautiful.
Is Teeth Whitening Safe During Pregnancy?
To sum up everything covered so far, it is generally not recommended to use teeth whitening products while pregnant. However, there are a number of safe alternatives that can help you achieve whiter teeth without putting your baby at risk. Baking soda, oil pulling, and specially formulated toothpastes are all effective ways to keep your smile looking its best during pregnancy. There are plenty of benefits to taking care of your teeth during this special time; just be sure to consult with your physician before using any whitening products.
Still wondering whether teeth whitening is safe during pregnancy? Here are some answers to the most commonly asked questions:
Can You Use Baking Soda To Whiten Teeth While Pregnant?
Yes – baking soda is one of the safest ways to whiten teeth during pregnancy.
It's a natural and effective way to remove surface stains from your teeth without exposing your baby to any harsh chemicals. Just be sure not to overuse it, as too much baking soda can cause tooth sensitivity or enamel erosion.
Is Teeth Whitening With Toothpaste Safe During Pregnancy?
Yes. So long as you are not using toothpaste with added bleaching agents like hydrogen peroxide, whitening toothpastes are safe for pregnant women. Look for a brand with natural ingredients like baking soda and hydrogenated castor oil to get the most out of your teeth-whitening routine.
Can You Use Bleach When Pregnant?
Like most other harsh chemicals, bleach should be avoided during pregnancy.
There is not enough research to determine its safety for pregnant women and their unborn babies, so it is best to steer clear of bleaching agents during this time. Fortunately, there are plenty of natural alternatives that are effective and safe for expecting mothers.
Is Charcoal Toothpaste Safe While Breastfeeding?
Since charcoal is not excreted through breast milk, it should be safe to use while breastfeeding. Charcoal has not been found harmful to pregnant parents or their unborn children. If you use it in a toothpaste, it's obviously important to spit out the toothpaste and rinse your mouth after brushing rather than swallowing it.
Is Charcoal Toothpaste Safe While Pregnant?
Yes. Charcoal toothpaste is safe to use while pregnant, so long as you are not swallowing it. Since charcoal is non-toxic and natural, it can be used safely during pregnancy without putting yourself or your baby at risk. Some common ways to use charcoal for teeth whitening include toothpastes and activated charcoal powder.
How Can I Whiten My Teeth At Home While Pregnant?
There are a number of ways to whiten your teeth at home while pregnant, including baking soda, oil pulling, and specially formulated toothpastes. All of these methods are safe for both you and your baby. If you're looking for an even more natural approach, consider using activated charcoal powder or coconut oil to help remove surface stains from your teeth without harsh chemicals.
Is Hydrogen Peroxide Safe While Pregnant?
No – hydrogen peroxide should be avoided during pregnancy, as it is a harsh chemical that can be dangerous to both you and your baby. If you are looking for an effective teeth-whitening solution while pregnant, opt for one of the other natural alternatives listed above.