Is Teeth Whitening Safe During Pregnancy?

If you are pregnant, you may have several unwanted physical changes happening. Since you can’t control your growing belly or swollen feet, you may want to consider enhancing your smile. While professional teeth whitening is one of the fastest and most popular ways to boost your smile confidence, it is not always safe during pregnancy. Not all cosmetic dental treatments are risky, but you may want to wait for professional-grade teeth whitening until your baby is delivered and out of harm’s way.

Zoom! Whitening

Zoom! is one of the most trusted methods of professional teeth whitening. It involves a patented hydrogen peroxide gel and special dental laser lights to lighten teeth by several shades in just one hour. While most people are good candidates for Zoom, it is not recommended for women who are nursing or pregnant.

The Risk of Teeth Whitening When Pregnant 

More research is needed to confirm the danger of teeth whitening during pregnancy, but if you are like most expectant moms, it’s simply not worth the risk. Although no study has revealed that teeth whitening is harmful to the fetus, there remains some concern about the impact of absorbing high levels of hydrogen peroxide into the body when pregnant. Research has indicated that large amounts can break down fetal tissue. Since there is no surefire way to monitor or measure the amount of hydrogen peroxide that is absorbed into your body during professional whitening treatment, most dentists recommend against this cosmetic dentistry service during pregnancy. For the same reasons, it is also best to avoid teeth whitening while nursing your baby.

Are Store-Bought Whitening Products Safe?

There are countless over-the-counter whitening products on the market today. Most of these contain a much smaller amount of the same chemicals found in professional whitening systems. The lower doses of hydrogen peroxide can make OTC products safer than a professional whitening gel, but they are not risk-free. Additional studies need to be conducted to accurately determine if all whitening products should be avoided during pregnancy. When in doubt, ask your dentist or gynecologist!

The Issue of Pregnancy-related Gingivitis

Another reason that many dentists warn against teeth whitening during pregnancy is related to a pregnant woman’s gums during these nine months. Due to surging hormones, the gums have an increased amount of blood and often swell or bleed. Gingivitis during pregnancy is very common, which makes oral hygiene a critical task since we know that untreated gum disease can lead to premature birth. When it comes to teeth whitening, however, the harsh chemicals can make gum irritation and sensitivity even worse. Women may find teeth whitening to be more uncomfortable when they are pregnant.

Safe Stain Removal for Moms-to-Be

Don’t worry; you don’t have to live with a dingy smile just because you are pregnant. Most surface stains can be easily removed with a professional dental cleaning. These cleanings are not only beneficial to the aesthetics of your smile, but also your oral health and body health. A cleaning from your dentist removes hardened plaque and tartar that your regular tooth brush can’t handle on its own. This prevents decay, bad breath and gum disease while your body works hard to grow a baby.

While a professional dental cleaning won’t brighten your teeth like a ZOOM! Whitening session can, it can certainly help to polish away the dingy layer on your teeth that may be ruining your smile confidence. Scheduling a dental cleaning during pregnancy can set the stage for even greater rewards in ZOOM! Teeth Whitening when your pregnancy is over.

A Dentist for Pregnant Mothers

At Group Health Dental, we value the health and safety of our patients. We strongly encourage pregnant moms to come see us for their routine cleanings and checkups. You can trust that we will work hard to keep you as comfortable as possible at every step of your visit. Our dentists will never perform or advise a dental treatment that has a potential to cause harm to your unborn child. To learn more about which dental procedures are necessary and which ones are risky during pregnancy, please contact our New York office. We can always find a way to enhance your smile confidence!

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