Note: before starting any whitening routine, always consult with your doctor or midwife with any concerns.
With so many changes happening to your body during pregnancy, it comes as no surprise that this affects your dental health too. We understand that your baby’s health is your top priority (but we know your appearance still matters to you too). This leaves many people wondering, “can you whiten your teeth while pregnant?” We take a look at your options for teeth whitening when pregnant.
How does pregnancy affect your teeth?
The Australian Dental Association (ADA) suggests that you will usually notice changes to your teeth and gums around the two month mark of pregnancy. Hormones produced during pregnancy can cause you to be more susceptible to different types of gum disease, tooth decay and significant enamel damage from morning sickness.
Gum Disease: Gingivitis (gum inflammation) often occurs during the second trimester and if left untreated, can lead to periodontal disease. You should floss everyday and brush twice a day with soft bristles to reduce the impact of gingivitis during pregnancy.
Regular professional cleaning may be required if you experience pregnancy epulis (an enlargement of the gums). Once you have given birth, any associated gum issues should improve as your hormones begin to equalise.
However, regardless of if you are looking at teeth whitening when pregnant or not, it’s important to undergo treatment for gum disease before whitening your teeth to ensure no adverse effects.
Food Cravings: Food cravings during pregnancy can be held accountable for significant tooth decay (you can blame the sugary treats like ice cream and chocolate for that). If you can’t avoid reaching for your favourite sugar-packed snack, you can try and brush your teeth immediately after. Tooth decay is a leading cause of tooth sensitivity as your nerves become more exposed. It’s best to restore this decay at a dentist before any teeth whitening treatment.
Vomiting: Gastric reflux or vomiting associated with morning sickness can expose your teeth to strong stomach acids during pregnancy. Brushing your teeth immediately after vomiting can worsen the effects of this as it can assist in stripping away your enamel. Rinse your mouth with warm water immediately afterwards to prevent any damage.
Teeth whitening when pregnant
If you’re lucky enough to not experience any dental issues associated with pregnancy, you might still be questioning if you should whiten your teeth while pregnant. There currently isn’t enough evidence to prove if teeth whitening when pregnant is safe. However, Hydrogen Peroxide has been shown to irritate already sensitive gums so it would be best to look at a peroxide-free whitening such as teeth whitening options containing PAP (you can learn more about PAP in teeth whitening here) and always consult with your doctor or midwife prior to whitening.
Teeth whitening when breastfeeding
Similarly, teeth whitening when breastfeeding doesn’t have any definitive studies on the impact to your baby’s health. Usually, the chemicals which are used in teeth whitening don’t pass on to breast milk but dental professionals advise waiting until the baby is weaned.
If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, there are always gentler options that you might like to consider such as a whitening toothpaste with protective qualities. A gentle toothpaste that includes natural ingredients is best for whitening when pregnant as these usually contain gentle abrasives to remove your stains while brushing rather than harsh chemicals for bleaching.
Our specially formulated whitening Day & Night Toothpaste combo includes 5 natural minerals designed to strengthen your teeth, fight off harmful bacteria and protect gums from decay and infection all while the activated charcoal works to gently remove stains from your teeth without harming your sensitive gums.
Remember, before starting any whitening routine, always consult with your doctor or midwife with any concerns. You can find the ingredients lists for our Day & Night Toothpaste below: