How to Protect Your Teeth

Which Teeth Whitening Options Are Okay During Pregnancy

When you're pregnant, so many things about your body and your health start to change. You also have to be careful about which medications, herbal supplements, and other substances you take into your body to ensure you don't cause any harm to yourself or to your unborn baby. As such, if you find yourself unhappy with the color of your teeth, you should not just jump into the first teeth whitening treatment you come across. Some whitening procedures are okay to use during pregnancy, while others are not. Here's a closer look.

Whitening Toothpaste

Most whitening toothpaste options are okay to use during pregnancy. These typically rely on abrasives, such as baking soda, to scrub stains off the surface of teeth. As you can probably imagine, a little baking soda during pregnancy won't do any harm. Of course, whitening toothpastes do not yield as dramatic of results as some other whitening methods, but they do provide you a safe way to make at least small improvements in your tooth color during pregnancy.

Whitening Strips

Whitening strips, which you can buy over-the-counter, are not the best choice during pregnancy. The substance they use to whiten teeth, peroxide, is not terribly dangerous if it only comes into contact with your teeth. The problem is that it is really, really hard to position the strips so they do not make contact with your gums at all. During pregnancy, your gums are likely to be sensitive due to hormonal changes, and exposing them to peroxide can cause even more serious pain and gum soreness. Stay away from whitening strips to be on the safe side.

In-Office Whitening

Some dentists will perform in-office whitening treatments on pregnant ladies, and others will not. As with the strips, if the chemicals stay on your teeth, only, they should not cause any serious trouble. Your dentist will be better at controlling where the chemicals go than you would be, which can make in-house whitening safer than using strips. However, if you are experiencing any sort of gum irritation or soreness already you will not want to undergo whitening, and your dentist will likely recommend against it. Use whitening toothpaste for the time being, and schedule the whitening appointment for after you give birth.

If your teeth are looking a bit yellow during pregnancy, you do have options. You just have to be careful. Talk to your dentist if you have any lingering questions.