You know what they say about “the best laid plans…” For the last two years I have been scrimping and saving to pay for a dental treatment plan by dentist and I agreed on because my insurance refused to pay. The plan included teeth whitening, replacing my amalgam fillings and then to cap off the smile makeover I was going to get some veneers placed. I started with the teeth whitening a few weeks ago and I was so excited to continue on with the rest in a couple more weeks. What I wasn’t expecting was to find today that I am expecting. Don’t get me wrong… I am very happy, but it was definitely unexpected. I’m not exactly sure how far along I am, but I’m sure I was pregnant when I had my teeth whitened. I’m worried now because I read that you shouldn’t bleach your teeth while you’re pregnant, but nothing tells me why. Did I put my baby at risk for white teeth? –Shona
First, let me say congratulations! Now… take a deep breath. Your worry is understandable, but rest easy as there is no evidence to suggest you’ve hurt your baby in any way. In order for any kind of drug, medical material, or piece of medical equipment to be deemed safe during pregnancy, it has to get FDA clearance. That would mean there needs to be controlled trials in which healthy babies are born after the pregnant mother was exposed to a product. You will not find many (if any) clinical trials that relate to moms-to-be, but that doesn’t mean something will cause harm. It simply means it hasn’t been proven to be safe.
While the FDA and manufacturers will tell you to either consult your doctor or not to use it if you’re expecting, please understand that there have been no reports whatsoever recognized by a reputable agency of babies being harmed by tooth whitening products. The warnings are simply a protective measure.
If you’re worried, talk with your doctor. But, it would be best to put off the rest of your dental work for just a little bit longer. If you needed treatment due to decay that is generally safe after the first trimester as long as your OB is ok with it, but cosmetic work should be avoided because of the anesthetic and stress. Your OB will know what is best for you and your baby. You’ve already waited this long, so what’s a little longer to ensure you have a healthy and happy baby?! Congrats again and good luck!
This blog post is brought to you by Des Moines cosmetic dentist, Dr. Phelan Thomas. For more information on the services he provides, please visit his Des Moines cosmetic dentist website.