Can You Whiten Teeth While Pregnant? Making Informed Choices

Can You Whiten Teeth While Pregnant? Making Informed Choices
August 8, 2023

Oral Health Concerns During Pregnancy

Every woman deserves to excel in dental health, whether pregnant or not. However, pregnancy introduces a new variable that may impact oral and overall health. Therefore, our dental team at Morada Dental & Orthodontics will have you pay extra attention to your oral health once you begin the pregnancy journey.

Maintaining good oral health is vital during pregnancy because hormonal changes often increase the risk of specific dental issues. Some common oral health concerns that pregnant women may face include:

  • Gum disease (gingivitis): Hormonal changes make gums more sensitive to plaque, translating to inflammation, bleeding, and tenderness. Good oral hygiene practices can help counter or manage gingivitis.
  • Pregnancy tumors: Some women develop non-cancerous growths on the gums called pyogenic granulomas. These tumors usually appear during the second trimester and are thought to be triggered by hormonal changes and irritation from plaque. While the tumors often resolve independently after pregnancy, you may require professional removal in a dental office in Stockton, CA, if they cause discomfort.
  • Tooth decay: Pregnancy cravings and changes in eating habits may lead to high sugar consumption, significantly contributing to tooth decay. While you tend to your cravings, maintain a balanced diet and practice good oral hygiene.
  • Morning sickness and acid erosion: Frequent vomiting, often during the first trimester of pregnancy, exposes teeth to stomach acid, eroding tooth enamel over time. Therefore, dentists recommend rinsing the mouth with water or fluoride mouthwash after vomiting. Further, wait about 30 minutes, then brush with a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
  • Dry mouth: Some pregnant women experience decreased saliva production, leading to a condition known as xerostomia or dry mouth. Since saliva neutralizes acids and protects teeth against tooth decay, its inadequacy becomes problematic. Therefore, you must stay hydrated and chew sugar-free gum to help stimulate saliva production.
  • Increased risk of gum bleeding: Hormonal changes make gums more tender and sensitive, heightening the risk of gum bleeding. Therefore, be gentle while brushing and use a soft-bristle toothbrush.

​Can You Whiten Your Teeth While Pregnant?

The question many dentists face when dealing with pregnant women is, “Can you whiten your teeth while pregnant?” Given the various complications likely to occur during pregnancy, it is understandable that women would need a change in their smile’s appearance. However, teeth whitening in Stockton is more than just about making you feel better about your smile. You must account for the steps of the procedure.

The procedure entails bleaching agents that will remove stains to brighten the appearance. The bleachers contain hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. While there is nothing wrong with whitening your teeth when pregnant, these products can be harsh to the gums, especially when you have tender and sensitive gums, which is always the case during pregnancy. Therefore, many dentists will recommend that pregnant women err on caution, especially since teeth whitening is an elective dental procedure. This means that it is optional for optimal dental health.

​Is It Safe To Whiten Teeth While Pregnant?

The safety concerns of teeth whitening products during pregnancy have not been extensively studied, given that it is an elective procedure. Many dentists will recommend waiting until childbirth to whiten teeth.

However, they are generally considered safe when whitening products are used in moderation and under professional supervision.

Still, a dentist will have concerns over the potential ingestion or absorption of the whitening agents during pregnancy, which is risky for the mother and unborn child. Furthermore, teeth whitening can aggravate the situation since you may have sensitive and easily irritable gums. Besides, there is no hurry to whiten your teeth. You can always wait it out until after childbirth.

​Other Teeth Whitening Options for Pregnant Women

There are a few choices you can consider if you’re pregnant and looking for alternative teeth whitening options that are safe, including the following:

  • ​Good oral hygiene practices: Maintaining proper oral hygiene after every meal can prevent tooth discoloration.
  • Natural remedies: Some natural remedies are believed to have teeth-whitening properties, including a paste made from baking soda and water or hydrogen peroxide diluted with water as a mouth rinse. Still, please consult your dentist before using any natural approaches to ensure the safety of you and your unborn child.
  • Dental cleaning: Regular dental cleanings performed in a dental office in Stockton, CA, removes surface stains. Dental cleanings are safe during pregnancy, but you must inform your dentist about it so they can take any necessary precautions.
  • Whitening toothpaste: Whitening toothpaste can remove surface stains and whiten your teeth gradually, specifically if formulated for teeth whitening, and has the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval.