When it comes to preparing for a baby, the to-do lists are endless! There’s the nursery to prepare, the car seat to install, the crib to assemble. There are also a ton of choices to make like breast or bottle feed? Cloth or disposable diapers? Natural birth or medicated? So when it comes to teeth whitening while pregnant, there are just as many questions. A lot of pregnant women wonder if you can use teeth whitening strips while pregnant and if it’s even safe to do teeth whitening while pregnant. With so many of these things to consider about teeth whitening while pregnant, check out our guide below.
Can You Whiten Your Teeth While Pregnant?
The minute a woman finds out she’s pregnant, it’s hard to contain the excitement! With all of the joy and delight bringing a baby into the world entails, it’s also important for the mom-to-be to start establishing and/or maintaining healthy lifestyle choices. Everything from diet to exercise to sleep will have an impact on her changing body and the baby she’s carrying. Along with that, she’ll also want to feel confident while exuding that pregnancy glow. While teeth whitening may be on her wish list, it’s important to consider the following:
Teeth Whitening Options for Pregnancy
Teeth whitening has become so popular in recent years because a brighter, whiter smile not only boosts confidence and self-esteem, but it can even make you smile more! For those who aren’t pregnant, there are a lot of options for teeth whitening from in-office laser teeth whitening, to halogen light teeth whitening, to at-home teeth whitening, but which one is the safest and best teeth whitening to do while pregnant?
According to the American Dental Association, “Cosmetic procedures, like whitening, should wait until after the baby arrives.” That’s because pregnancy can have an effect on your overall health in addition to your oral health. If you’re considering teeth whitening while pregnant, it’s important to note that hormonal changes can adversely affect your gums, morning sickness and/or nausea can be made worse, and there may even be an increase in teeth sensitivity.
Professional Teeth Whitening
Of course, when it comes to teeth whitening, an important first step is checking in with your dentist to make sure you’re a viable candidate. They will ensure that your teeth and gums are healthy enough and help guide you in your teeth whitening options.
Keep in mind that because professional teeth whitening is typically done in a dentist’s office, it costs more than over the counter teeth whitening kits. Professional teeth whitening typically includes a hydrogen peroxide bleaching agent that usually requires a light or laser to activate the whitening ingredients. While the risks to the mom-to-be and her baby may be minimal, experts advise to postpone any kind of teeth whitening treatment until after the baby is born.
At-Home Teeth Whitening
When it comes to an at home teeth whitening treatment while pregnant, most experts suggest waiting until after the baby is born. While at home kits tend to have a lower percentage of hydrogen peroxide, a main ingredient in teeth whitening solutions, there simply hasn’t been enough research as to whether or not at home teeth whitening treatments are safe to use while pregnant.
Ingredients to Avoid
Just as things like caffeine and alcohol should be avoided during pregnancy, so are some teeth whitening ingredients like carbamide peroxide. Carbamide peroxide is a compound of hydrogen peroxide and urea and is often found in teeth whitening gels. While it is effective and widely considered safe, a higher concentration of carbamide peroxide is typically needed to achieve the same results as hydrogen peroxide, making it an unsafe choice for teeth whitening while pregnant. Further, pregnant or not, not all teeth whiteners are created equal, so it’s good practice to read the ingredients of at-home whitening kits as well as at-home teeth whitening gels and toothpastes before using them.
Alternative Options to Whiten Teeth While Pregnant
Most people want to feel confident when they smile and having pearly whites really can make a difference. But if you’re pregnant, there are some healthy alternatives to teeth whitening that you can take advantage of.
Good oral hygiene is a great place to start! By simply brushing your teeth twice a day, and flossing your teeth once a day, you are helping to get rid of any plaque build-up and helping to prevent any stains from forming on your teeth.
As previously mentioned, hydrogen peroxide is a leading ingredient in teeth whitening products. Hydrogen peroxide as part of your oral care routine can help get rid of plaque, disinfect your mouth, and act as a bleaching agent to whiten teeth. It is generally considered safe when used as directed but if you’re pregnant, it’s possible that you could have a negative reaction to it based on hormonal changes in your body.
Keep in mind that teeth whitening toothpastes like Glo’s Twice, is infused with aloe and vitamins A, C, and E and protects against teeth sensitivity. It’s also wise to avoid teeth staining foods and beverages like coffee, tea, tomato sauce, and cherries.