A brilliant white smile is white-hot right now, but tooth whitening just isn't recommended for pregnant or lactating women, says Nicholas Davis, DDS, 2005-06 President of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. There's no data to indicate whether tooth whitening procedures are safe, so expectant moms should err on the side of caution.
In addition, notes Dr. Davis, hormone changes during and soon after pregnancy often affect gum tissue, leading to a condition known as "pregnancy gingivitis"—swollen, tender, and sometimes bleeding gums. The bleach in tooth whiteners can aggravate this condition. To keep your smile bright during your pregnancy, Dr. Davis recommends practicing good oral hygiene: brushing, flossing, and keeping up with scheduled dental visits.
Whatever salon treatment you're considering, never hesitate to ask your healthcare provider if you have questions or concerns about whether the procedure is right for you. And have fun getting pampered—you deserve it!
Remember Hildee Weiss? After having four more kids, she has relaxed considerably. "By the time I was pregnant with my fifth, I even went so far as to have my obstetrician write a prescription on his notepad for my husband, allowing me a 'refill' of highlighting and haircuts," says Weiss.