Put simply, evidence is limited as to whether teeth whitening products are safe to use during pregnancy.In other words, we can’t prove it’s harmful and we can’t prove it’s harmless.Due to this uncertainty, most experienced dentists will recommend that you waituntil you are no longer pregnant before whitening your teeth.Additionally, it’s always best to avoid any unnecessary surgeries or treatments while pregnant.
It doesn’t matter if you’re using at-home whiteners or going to a professional. It makes no difference if you’re using trays with gels or strips of whitener, they all possess the same potential yet unknown risks. Specifically, the chemical composition can be corrosive to cells, and the damage it could inflict on a developing fetus is unknown.
We’ve established there’s a lot we don’t know about the safety of teeth whitening products during pregnancy, so let’s discuss what we do know.
All whiteners contain a peroxide mixture, the most typical compounds being carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide. Although the percentage of the peroxide fluctuates depending on the brand and category of whitener, they all go through the same oxidation process to help you achieve a stain-free smile. It’s this same process that can be harmful to the cells and tissue in your mouth while pregnant, attacking your gums when they’re in a weakened state and feeling especially sensitive.
You may or may not know that for at least 20 years, there have been questions surrounding the risks of anyone (not just pregnant women) being exposed to high dilutions of peroxide. For that same period of time, the American Dental Association has analyzed the validity of these claims. Ultimately, it was determined there are no “significant, long-term oral or systemic health risks associated with professional at-home tooth bleaching materials” as long as they limit concentration below the suggested percentage.
Even so, when it comes the health of you and your baby, it’s best to err on the side of caution.
Knowing there are no teeth whitening products safe to use during pregnancy, is there nothing else you can do besides wait? You can try making your own all-natural toothpaste whitener. One easy recipe we found recommended equal parts strawberries and baking soda. To apply, brush onto teeth. Allow the paste to work forfive minutes before rinsing off.
Remember to keep your dentist informed of any changes in your dental routine while pregnant. For any dental questions or to set an appointment, please call (813) 961-1727 or use our online scheduler if you are a returning patient!