Is It Safe To Whiten Teeth While Breastfeeding? (Can It Affect Breastmilk & 3 At-Home Remedies)

Teeth whitening treatment during breastfeeding is safe and doesn’t affect your breastmilk or its production in any way or your baby. Even the ultraviolet rays used aren’t harmful in any way to your breastmilk. But getting teeth whitened can be a personal choice. There’re various home remedies and good habits you can indulge in to ensure to get white pearlies. Using oil, brushing with baking soda, eating certain fruits, and maintaining good brushing and flossing can help you achieve that. Limiting certain foods, beverages, sugar, and habits can help too.

Everyone wants a brighter smile whenever they talk or smile. For mothers who just gave birth and are still breastfeeding their baby, the thought of getting these pearly whites isn’t as simple and raises many doubts.

Most doubts are related to whether their teeth whitened will directly affect their breastmilk and their child. New mothers are worried about the chemicals used in the teeth whitening process and if they will affect their milk.

While breastfeeding, mothers are told to maintain precautions against a list of items. Let’s see if getting teeth whitened is actually harmful or not!

What is the teeth whitening process?

You can get your teeth whitened by bleaching them or using a non-bleaching way to achieve pearly whites.

You can’t achieve white teeth unless and until hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide is used to achieve the same. They help achieve the pearly whites as removing teeth stains is easier with the active ingredients used in bleaching and removing the deeper stains.

It could be a whitening product if none of these chemicals are used. It removes the debris and food from the teeth without bleach.

Who needs teeth whitening?

The safety of teeth whitening for breastfeeding mothers is a huge concern. 

All teeth are made of a hard outer layer called enamel and an inner layer called dentine. This outer layer protects the teeth from all the food and drinks we consume, including bacteria and germs of all kinds.

This protection by the outer layers results in another layer called pellicle film that forms over enamel. It can get into the enamel layer over the layers as it’s porous, leaving stains on the teeth.

These stains can occur for several reasons, such as not brushing teeth properly twice a day or a health issue such as having an acidic stomach and suffering from GERD.

Can teeth whitening affect breastmilk?

Mom is breastfeeding her newborn baby on the sofa

The most sought-after question regarding teeth whitening during breastfeeding is if the process hampers the milk.

While the concerns are valid, there’s no need to worry about the chemicals used or the whole process. If you’re breastfeeding and wish to get your teeth whitened, rest assured that the whole process won’t affect your breastmilk, including the chemicals used.

The substances aren’t passed onto the breastmilk in any way, so it’s safe to go through this process. No current studies show that going through this process negatively affects women currently breastfeeding.

Women might also be worried about the ultraviolet lights used during the process, but that doesn’t affect breast milk or its production.

Hydrogen peroxide is applied to the teeth and might be swallowed in a minimal quantity by the person, but it isn’t harmful. It gets absorbed into the bloodstream but doesn’t affect breast milk.

Concerns for teeth whitening during breastfeeding

There are no conclusive negative effects on mothers getting this process during breastfeeding, but doctors’ opinion on this process is divided.

Many dentists feel there’s no harm in this process because the chemicals used are in a small amount, and even if the person ends up consuming it, it’s so tiny it doesn’t affect the breastmilk.

The sedatives taken during the treatment also possess minimal risk. So, there’re no major adverse impacts, and only minimal risk is involved.

3 natural remedies to whiten teeth during breastfeeding

Getting your teeth whitened is a personal choice. While most mothers might feel secure enough going to the dentist for it, others might still feel uncomfortable doing the same.

Even though the teeth whitening process is not harmful to the baby or the breastmilk, mothers would still want to know how to achieve pearly whites naturally.

1. Oil pulling

A step by step graphic showing a person oil pulling

It might sound whack, but oil pulling is a traditional way to attempt to whiten or not let the bacteria and other things accumulate on your teeth, ultimately leading to them getting yellow.

Originated in India, this practice involves swishing oil around your mouth to remove bacteria, and coconut oil is a popular choice. It’s preferred for its pleasant taste, health benefits, high acidic nature, and ability to reduce inflammation and kill bacteria.

Since it’s a remedy, there’s no sure way of telling if it works, but it’s a much healthier and pure way to attempt to achieve whiter teeth.

Doing it daily for 15 minutes can bring about a change in your dental hygiene.

2. Baking soda

A cup of baking soda and a toothbrush are shown. Using baking soda can help naturally whiten your teeth.

Using baking soda to achieve whiter teeth is a common attempt. Due to its alkaline nature, it helps prevent bacteria from growing.

Using a plain brush to brush your teeth with baking soda daily can help as it helps dental health and has a whitening effect. Getting toothpaste with baking soda as an ingredient is an easier way to maintain white teeth.

3. Fruits and vegetables

Some fruits and vegetables help remove plaque from accumulating and prevent staining.

A new mom is considering eating fruit to help naturally whiten her teeth

Strawberries with baking soda and pineapple as a normal fruit are great at preventing stains from getting on your teeth and maintaining the natural teeth color.

Other ways to achieve white teeth:

  • Activated charcoal
  • Kaolin clay
  • Fruit peels
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Limiting sugar intake
  • Getting plenty of calcium
  • Brushing and flossing twice a day

FAQs

Can you use teeth whitening strips during breastfeeding?

Using teeth whitening strips or gels isn’t ideal for whitening teeth during breastfeeding or pregnancy.

Activated charcoal does have FDA approval for certain health uses. The American Dental Association disapproves using whitening strips during pregnancy or breastfeeding and products with activated charcoal ingredients.

What’s the best way to whiten teeth?

While getting treatment at a dentist is a quick and easy way to get your teeth to whiten. But not everyone might be able to afford an expensive treatment like that or prefer to whiten teeth chemically.

It’s best to follow a dental hygiene plan which includes brushing and flossing teeth twice a day to avoid your teeth from getting stained. Or you can try some home remedies to help keep your teeth whitened.

Is teeth whitening during pregnancy safe?

Getting any kind of dental treatment during pregnancy might be risky for the baby.

Though normal cleaning and routine check-ups are fine when it comes to heavy dental work and treatments such as teeth whitening, it might not be a good idea to go forth with it.

The American Dental Association (ADA) agrees that bleaching materials for whitening teeth during pregnancy could prove harmful, and women should avoid such procedures.

Why are my teeth yellow during pregnancy?

Pregnancy can cause a lot of issues, including changes in oral health.

It can loosen the teeth due to high levels of estrogen and progesterone in the body. It can even lead to tooth erosion and demineralization due to morning sickness, making stomach acid affect your teeth.

It can even lead to a higher risk of cavities and gum disease due to hormonal changes, changes in oral care, and pregnancy-related food cravings that lead to plaque and bacteria, ultimately making teeth yellow.

What’s the easiest way to whiten your teeth?

While it depends on your preference and how much you’re willing to spend, getting your teeth whitened doesn’t need to be expensive if you follow simple rules at home.

Brushing and flossing are a big component of keeping your teeth white. Discoloration usually occurs due to plaque buildup when you let bacteria and food remain to accumulate on your teeth, causing this to occur.

Avoid habits that can easily stain your teeth, like drinking coffee, red wine, soda, and smoking regularly. If you wish, you can still get them whitened at a dentist.

To summarise

When it comes to wanting white teeth after pregnancy, which is understandable because sometimes even pregnancy can cause many issues with your dental hygiene, a teeth whitening treatment can create many doubts.

While the process is simple, it doesn’t affect your breastmilk in any way. Still, people might not prefer getting their teeth whitened chemically, and home remedies come in handy.

There are different habits, including brushing, flossing, eating the right kind of food, and other remedies that can help you get rid of yellow teeth while being careful during breastfeeding.

As a writer for 1happykiddo, Saumya wants to help new parents and older siblings help raise the newest member added to the family. Her parenting tips come from her experience of being 15 years older than her youngest sibling. When not writing, you can find her reading novels, traveling, and cooking nutritious meals.

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