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Some Facts About Teeth Whitening During Pregnancy

Most people like to look and feel good and will use special treatments to help. One of the most popular treatments of this kind is teeth whitening. People whiten their teeth for a number of different reasons – some to get rid of stains from coffee and cigarettes and others who don’t have those problems do it just to make their pearly whites, white. What if you are pregnant though? There are many treatments that either don’t work or are far too risky during pregnancy. In this article we will discuss the facts and look at alternative ways to keep your smile sparkling white.

What Are The Risks?

At the moment there is no evidence that supports any claims that teeth whitening or bleaching is unsafe during pregnancy. Also, there has never been official research or studies carried out to prove or disprove that whitening treatments cause complications and problems during pregnancy. Therefore, it is not known whether whitening teeth during pregnancy actually increases the risk of birth defects, miscarriage; lower than average birth weight or preterm labour. This information pertains to both at home treatments and professional teeth whitening.

Can you whiten your teeth when pregnant?

The recommendation by The American Pregnancy Association is that pregnant women should postpone whitening their teeth until after pregnancy. Although there are no evidence or tests that show it is dangerous or has risky side effects for pregnant women, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any. Is having bleached white teeth during pregnancy really worth the risk if it could have adverse effects on you and your unborn baby? Further to this recommendation, many experts also have stated that it would be wise for mothers to postpone teeth whitening until after they have finished breastfeeding. Again, there is no evidence to suggest it is damaging, but the peroxide used in most teeth whiteners could enter into a mother’s bloodstream and then into her milk.

Is teeth whitening safe during pregnancy?

Teeth whitening during pregnancy involves both professional treatments at a dentist’s office and over-the-counter (OTC) products that you can use at home. The safety of teeth whitening during pregnancy is a matter of some debate among dental professionals and health organizations. Here’s a summary of the general consensus and recommendations:

Professional Teeth Whitening: Most dental professionals advise against undergoing professional teeth whitening procedures during pregnancy. The main concern revolves around the lack of research on the effects of the whitening agents (which often contain peroxide) on a developing fetus. Additionally, pregnancy can make gums more sensitive due to hormonal changes, potentially leading to increased discomfort during the whitening process.

At-Home Teeth Whitening Products: Similar to professional treatments, there’s a lack of research on the safety of using at-home teeth whitening products during pregnancy. These products include whitening strips, gels, and toothpaste that contain various concentrations of bleaching agents.

Recommendations: The American Dental Association (ADA) and other health organizations typically recommend that elective dental treatments, such as teeth whitening, be postponed until after pregnancy. This is largely due to the precautionary principle, given the lack of specific research on the safety of whitening procedures during pregnancy.

Alternative Approaches: If you’re concerned about the appearance of your teeth during pregnancy and want a safer alternative, focusing on maintaining excellent oral hygiene is advisable. Regular brushing with fluoride toothpaste, flossing, and using an antimicrobial mouthwash can help keep your teeth clean and reduce the appearance of stains. Additionally, avoiding foods and beverages that can stain your teeth (like coffee, tea, and red wine) might also help.

There are also many alternatives that you can try that do not require bleaching your teeth. One such method involves pressing chopped strawberries against your teeth, while another promoted by WebMD suggests using a toothbrush with baking soda, in addition to eating saliva-producing foods. Foods that help the production include pears, celery, carrots and apples. On the flip there are certain foods and drinks that you should stop eating and drinking, such as coffee and fizzy drinks. However, this shouldn’t be too difficult as a diet that includes high levels of caffeine while you are pregnant is considered risky.

Given these considerations, if you’re pregnant and considering teeth whitening, it’s crucial to consult with your dentist and obstetrician. They can provide personalized advice based on your oral health status and any potential risks to your pregnancy.

For the most current and personalized advice, always consult a healthcare provider.

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Dr Hooman Sanaty and his team at Glow Dental in Battersea are brilliant. From the moment you walk into the dental practice you are treated with genuine smiles, warmth and kindness by the reception team which has a calming effect and puts you at ease instantly.- Alia M
Visited Glow Dental for the first time today, and it's been some time since I had a dental check up. Stephen was an excellent dentist, really put me at ease, and I valued that he could not only talk me through - but also show me - the condition of my teeth and gums. He was really helpful with all my questions too.- Felicity B
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