Is it safe to whiten my teeth while I’m breastfeeding?

Ask Anne…

Question: I’m exclusively nursing my 5 month old baby. Is it safe to whiten my teeth?

Answer:  Teeth whiteners are made of carbamide peroxide, which is a formulation of hydrogen peroxide – made of water with an extra oxygen atom.

When you use any type of dental whitener, it’s recommended that you avoid getting excess amounts of the product on the gums as much as possible, as an excessive amount may cause some topical irritation.

When it touches the gum tissue around the teeth, it immediately releases pure hydrogen peroxide. According to Dr. Thomas Hale (Medications and Mother’s Milk 2012), “it would be all but impossible for any to reach breastmilk except under extreme overdose.” Even if absorbed, it would be metabolized in seconds, and not get into the mother or baby’s bloodstream.

Another whitening process called microabrasion uses a small tool to scrape the teeth, and it won’t  hurt your baby.

Whitening toothpastes are safe as well, but don’t whiten teeth nearly as effectively as other methods.

Anne Smith, IBCLC
Breastfeeding Basics.


About Anne Smith, IBCLC

Anne Smith, IBCLC
As the mother of six wonderful breastfed children, three perfect breastfed grand babies, and an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) with over twenty-five years experience in lactation counseling, I can offer you professional support, as well as information and advice based on my personal experiences over the years.

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