As you might already know, pregnancy brings many unexpected changes to the body. Therefore, you should pay extra attention to good hygiene practices during pregnancy to keep your personal hygiene in check. Maintaining good oral care should be on top of your personal hygiene checklist.
According to American Dental Association, good oral hygiene starts with choosing the right oral care products. But you might feel confused when it comes to picking the right teeth-cleaning tools from a variety of options.
Well, you shouldn’t worry about teeth-cleaning products such as toothpaste and mouthwashes. Brushing the teeth with fluoride toothpaste is safe and recommended for pregnant women. But what about teeth whitening products? Can you use teeth whiteners during pregnancy to get your teeth bleached?
This article provides expert guidance regarding some common questions around pregnancy and teeth whitening. So let’s dive in!
Is it safe to whiten your teeth while pregnant?
Teeth whitening or tooth bleaching is a popular cosmetic dental treatment, but it’s not without risks because most teeth whitening products contain peroxide solutions ranging from 15 to 43%. So individuals who are expecting a baby need to think twice before using certain teeth whitening products.
Though there are little to no studies to support whether teeth whitening is safe for moms-to-be or not, you need to proceed with caution. If you are thinking about teeth whitening kits while pregnant, we strongly recommend checking with your doctor or going for a dental check-up. Your doctor or dentist should have the final say on the matter.
The potential risks of teeth bleaching for you and your baby
Teeth whitening can cause your tooth enamel to thin out, making it prone to bacterial infection. You might face difficulty brushing your teeth properly, leading to periodontal disease and eventual tooth loss if that happens.
Whitened teeth are more sensitive to heat, cold, and sweets than unwhitened ones.
Certain bleaching materials can be responsible for allergic reactions. If unaware, this can be dangerous for some people and should be treated immediately by a doctor.
Teeth whitening is a physical process that can lead to tooth sensitivity and softening of the enamel, resulting in tooth decay.
Adverse Effects on Baby
Teeth whitening often involves using peroxide or other solutions that can be harmful to the baby if an excessive amount is swallowed. These chemicals can also get absorbed into the bloodstream through the gums and transferred to the unborn babies through the placenta.
Can you use traditional at-home whitening kits and strips during pregnancy?
At-home whitening kits and strips are typically do-it-yourself treatments that claim to offer a better alternative to professional treatments such as in-office bleaching and teeth whitening at the dentist’s office.
Many women think that at-home whitening kits and strips are perfectly safe during pregnancy. But unfortunately, that’s not the case.
These at-home whitening products may contain large amounts of hydrogen peroxide and other harsh chemicals that can cause irritation and damage your mouth’s soft tissues.
There’s also a risk of damage to the ameloblasts (the cells responsible for enamel formation), which could have long-term implications for your ability to develop solid and healthy enamel later in life. So it is always a good idea to ask your doctor for advice before using them. The same goes for any other dental procedures that require anesthetic or analgesics.
What about teeth-whitening toothpaste and mouthwashes: Are they safe while pregnant?
Apart from whitening kits and strips, there are a few other ways an individual can whiten their teeth at home, such as teeth whitening toothpaste, mouthwash, and charcoal. But are they safe to try while pregnant?
The good news is that these non-toxic teeth whitening products are safe to use during pregnancy. Unlike regular teeth whitening kits with high levels of bleaching agents, these products utilize ingredients that can only be found in some natural, pregnancy-safe toothpaste and mouthwashes. Note that the American Dental Association hasn’t still evaluated or approved charcoal as a safe means for whitening teeth, so it’s ideal to avoid activated charcoal whitening products while pregnant.
What are some natural ways to whiten your teeth while pregnant?
Even if the risks associated with cosmetic teeth whitening are unknown, the stakes aren’t worth taking. Alternatively, you can follow some natural ways to whiten your teeth.
There are quite a few ways to whiten your teeth naturally. But with so many options available, you might wonder which ones will be suitable for you. Here are a few safe and natural ways that can help whiten your teeth naturally while pregnant:
Pineapple: Pineapple naturally whitens your teeth and helps you rid yourself of bad breath. Pineapple contains vitamin C, which has anti-inflammatory properties that can help ease inflammation in your gums and prevent tooth discoloration.
Raw Veggies: Raw veggie juice can significantly affect the color of your teeth. It helps remove stains on the tooth surface.
Coconut-oil Pulling: Like mouthwash, swishing oil around the mouth is another natural yet effective method for teeth whitening. You can do it after brushing your teeth or while watching the morning news. Afterward, spit out the oil and rinse your mouth thoroughly with warm water.
Given the lack of clear evidence and known risk factors, it is challenging to say with certainty whether teeth whitening is safe during pregnancy or not. But keeping the risk factors in mind, it’s wise to wait until after you’ve given birth.
Hopefully, the information above has helped you understand more about pregnancy and teeth whitening.