A pregnant woman who wants to whiten her teeth, might have many questions. First, it is crucial to consult the dentist and know if a treatment option is safe during pregnancy before starting it.
One factor that requires consideration is toxicity. The substances used during pregnancy must not be toxic (teratogenic) to the mother and unborn baby. However, is it better to wait until the end of the pregnancy to complete the treatment?
Teeth Whitening In Pregnant Women
As a general rule, dentistry specialists always recommend not undergoing treatments in which total or partial anesthesia will occur if the woman is pregnant.
As for whitening, the substances used are usually two peroxides: carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide. Both are used at a low concentration of approximately 3.5% in the final mixture.
Studies carried out after whitening treatments have shown that these compounds are not toxic to people. In addition, several patients’ blood has been analyzed after using them, and no variations have been observed, nor have these substances or any of their derivatives emerged. This makes us think that the procedure is entirely harmless.
However, it would be best if you remember that these trials have always been carried out on men and women who were not in the gestational stage. This is because carrying out clinical trials during pregnancy is unethical. Therefore, no data is available to certify the absence of side effects in the mother or baby.
Peroxides are oxidizing substances that do not cause damage to our mouths. However, if peroxide crosses the placental barrier (something that has not been studied), it could affect the tissues and cells of the baby. The absence of studies determining whether peroxide crosses the placenta and in what quantity is why specialists advise against its use in pregnant women. In short, it could be said that, even though no data indicate that this treatment is harmful, it is recommended to avoid it.
Is It Advisable To Perform Teeth Whitening During Pregnancy?
The stage of pregnancy is usually lived as a unique stage, full of new experiences and magnified feelings. But in addition, it is a period where the future mother worries a lot about anything she does that could affect the fetus.
What we discussed is no different regarding issues related to the mouth. So, therefore, if you are pregnant and considering whether or not to have whitening, dentists recommend that you do not.
To perform teeth whitening, a substance called peroxide is used, an oxide that contains a higher level of oxygen than ordinary oxides. However, there are not enough clinical studies to determine whether or not there is any risk to the baby from the use of peroxide. For this reason, the ADA (American Dental Association) recommendation, supporteddental professionals, is that a pregnant woman delays the performance of teeth whitening till the end of pregnancy and lactation stage.
Where The Danger Lies
The most critical factor to consider is the potential health implication on the mother and fetus; hence it has been impossible to demonstrate how much peroxide can cross the placental or mammary barrier and affect the fetus. In addition, this substance causes an oxidation process that is harmless to the patient teeth but can harm tissues and cells.
Without a doubt, in this case, the famous saying ‘better safe than sorry would apply more than ever because what is at stake is very important.
When in doubt and for more details, it is best to consult a specialist on your dental insurance.