Can You Whiten Your Teeth While Pregnant

Oral Care while Pregnant

We all want pearly whites, but what about those of us are expecting? It’s no wonder many want to enhance their pregnancy glow with a smile just as brilliant! However, it’s important to consider what you’re putting into your body—especially with a baby bump. So let’s get to the bottom of the question: can you whiten your teeth while pregnant? 

Teeth Whitening While Pregnant: Safe or Not?

So, can you whiten your teeth at home while pregnant? Let’s cut to the chase to let you know right away that, no, chemical teeth whitening is not recommended while you’re expecting. In fact, it’s not even recommended that you go to the dentist for teeth whitening treatments either. 

While there’s nothing to suggest that teeth whitening is dangerous while pregnant, there isn’t exactly much to prove that it’s safe either. This is due to the fact that both at-home and in-office teeth whitening procedures rely on peroxide compounds. Quite often, these include hydrogen or carbamide peroxide and both work to essentially bleach teeth by removing dental stains. 

There are two main problems with this, and they can cause harm to more than just pregnant people. First, the chemical peroxide solution has to be left on for a period of time—in some cases, even applied multiple times over several sessions. Second, a high concentration is required. 

In peroxide concentrations above 10%, tissue damage is possible. And while the American Dental Association’s position is that tooth bleaching is associated with no significant, long-term health risks, it’s difficult to know exactly what concentrations are being administered—and how often—especially with at-home tooth whitening. 

It’s important to remember that these are chemicals we don’t often come in contact with. And during pregnancy, everything we do comes with a slightly higher-than-average risk. Not only are we carrying a little human inside of us, but also because the pregnant body has a higher vulnerability to infection, illness, and injury. 

That said, the potential side effects of teeth whitening—while mild generally mild—may be exacerbated during pregnancy. 

Potential Problems of Teeth Whitening While Pregnant

While there’s little to suggest that teeth whitening while pregnant is definitely dangerous, there are some potential health concerns to consider:

  • Tooth sensitivity. For those who’ve used teeth whitening products, you may have experienced increased sensitivity after use. Also how it whitens teeth, the high concentration of hydrogen peroxide removes dirt, stains, and minerals from the surface of the teeth, which may result in them becoming more porous, allowing the chemicals to reach the nerves where it may cause irritation—irritation that is heightened when everything is extra sensitive during pregnancy.
  • Tissue damage. Similarly, with an increase in hormones, pregnant people also have more sensitive gums, which may lead to swelling, inflammation, and an increased risk of gingivitis. Mixing high concentrations of hydrogen peroxide with inflamed, sensitive gums is a recipe for disaster, one that could result in pain and short-term damage. 
  • Unknown impacts on baby. Most importantly, we don’t yet fully understand the impacts high concentrations of hydrogen peroxide have on a developing baby. Teeth whitening could be totally safe, but as an unnecessary, cosmetic procedure, it’s recommended to err on the side of caution. It’s better to be safe than sorry, after all—especially when your little bundle of joy could bear more of the risk. 

  • TL;DR: How often should you whiten your teeth while pregnant? NEVER. Regardless if you’re doing it home or at a dentist’s office, save the peroxide-based teeth whitening until post-pregnancy—or consider other, safer alternatives altogether. 

    How to Safely Whiten Teeth While Pregnant

    So then, can you use activated charcoal to whiten teeth while pregnant? Fortunately, when it comes to how to whiten teeth naturally, there are many nontoxic teeth whitening products that can support a glowing smile and a growing belly. Coconut oil, essential oils, xylitol, and activated charcoal—like what’s found in our Brilliant Black Toothpaste—are all natural teeth-brighteners and are considered safe for use while pregnant. 

    For added peace of mind, you may want to double check with your OBGYN before switching to any new oral care product while expecting. 

    There are also other natural ways to whiten teeth while pregnant, most of which are healthy habits to incorporate, too.

    1. Avoid food and drink that stain teeth (coffee, black tea, citrus foods, tomatoes, and (obviously) tobacco and wine).
    2. Eat more raw veggies, as the crunching helps to remove yellowing plaque from teeth. 
    3. Start oil pulling to rid your mouth of more bacteria, clearing the way for a brighter smile. 
    4. Baking soda mixed with water can create an abrasive paste that can be gently used to remove stains on teeth. 

    Gentle Green Oil Pulling

    Terra & Co. is Safe For Everyone

    Wondering how to keep your teeth white? We’re here to help, naturally. Terra & Co. actually got its start when one of our founders, Amra, was pregnant. Realizing that more than 232(!!!) chemicals can reach a baby through the mother’s environment, she wanted a safer toothpaste. The carefully selected natural ingredients in our products are designed to be safe for everyone—while still supporting a white smile. 

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