Pregnancy is a vulnerable time, and in light of the potential risks some women may feel hesitant to undergo orthodontic treatments during pregnancy. The fear of radiation exposure associated with medical imaging is particularly common, and it’s natural for mothers-to-be to worry that their babies might be adversely affected.
However, as this article will demonstrate, receiving orthodontic treatment while pregnant is not only perfectly safe, but hugely beneficial for the health of you and your baby. Pregnancy induces hormonal fluctuations that can lead to a host of dental problems including bad breath, saliva overproduction, and in some instances even loose teeth. With that in mind, it’s to your advantage to continue seeing your orthodontist for the duration of your pregnancy. Keep reading to learn more!
I’m Pregnant with Braces: Can I Continue My Orthodontic Treatments?
If you’re newly pregnant and receiving prior orthodontic treatment, you may be wondering whether it’s wise to continue with orthodontia at this time. For many women, the biggest fear has to do with radiation exposure. It’s common knowledge that receiving an X-ray exposes you to a negligible, medically safe level of radiation. But even if it’s safe for you, is it safe for your baby?
It’s true that radiation exposure is potentially harmful to an unborn fetus. Fortunately, your orthodontist will be equipped with special protective blankets to cover your abdomen and ensure your baby’s safety during radiography. Make sure your disclose your pregnancy to your orthodontist prior to your next appointment to make sure the necessary precautions are taken.
Why Does My Orthodontist Need to Know About My Pregnancy?
Aside from the need to protect yourself and your baby against the health hazards associated with X-ray, there are a number of good reasons to make sure your orthodontist is informed about your pregnancy.
In some women, pregnancy can cause excessive weight gain that changes the dimensions of your face and mouth. In some instances, your orthodontist may need to take new molds of your mouth to account for the change. If you use clear aligners like Invisalign, you may also need new trays to ensure that your orthondontia proceeds correctly.
Additionally, pregnancy can cause other dental problems. Inflammation of the mouth can lead to conditions like gingivitis or affect the position of your teeth. In extreme cases, periodontal disease can even lead to tooth loss if left untreated. In cases like these, it’s important to keep your orthodontist informed so they can make the adjustments needed to stop your teeth from being repositioned incorrectly in your gums.
What About Anesthesia? Will It Harm My Baby?
If you’re pregnant with braces and worried about the risks of being put under general anesthesia, there’s good news: Most orthodontia is non-surgical, and the vast majority of patients never need to be put under. Likewise, if you’re concerned about taking painkillers to cope with the discomfort some patients experience after orthodontic adjustments, your orthodontist can supply you with a non-toxic topical analgesic that will not harm your baby.
What Are Some Other Arguments for Undergoing Orthodontic Treatments During Pregnancy?
If you are a first-time mother, you can’t underestimate the shortage of free time you’ll have once your baby has arrived. The constant attention babies require means that it will be harder for you to diligently make it to your orthodontic appointments. However, if you receive orthodontic treatment while pregnant, the likelihood of having completed your course of treatment before your baby’s arrival increases.
Additionally, if you still have yet to begin orthodontia, delaying treatment until after your pregnancy may complicate the process. If you wait until after giving birth, any orthodontic problems you’re facing will have had more time to worsen and may require more time and intervention to correct.
Most importantly, orthodontia can improve your health overall. Everybody is familiar with the cosmetic reasons for seeking orthodontic treatment, but few are aware of just how profoundly misaligned teeth can negatively impact your well-being. Very severe cases of malocclusion can make it difficult to bite and chew your food properly, which can in turn make it difficult to eat a nutritious diet. Fixing your bite issues will make it easier to eat nutrient-dense food, which will give you more energy and also help encourage your supply of breast milk.
What Are My Orthodontic Options?
Many adults are understandably hesitant to investigate orthodontia for fear of how they will look wearing metal braces. Fortunately, nowadays there are numerous alternatives available. Depending on your unique needs, your orthodontist will help you devise a course of treatment and recommend the appliance best suited to achieving your goals. These include but are not limited to the following:
- Traditional metal braces: These involve metal brackets that attach to your teeth with orthodontic glue and an adjustable wire held in place by small rubber bands.
- Self-ligating braces: Instead of rubber bands, steel ligatures hold the wire in place, reducing friction and allowing teeth to be repositioned faster.
- Lingual braces: Ideal for patients with cosmetic concerns, lingual braces affix to the back of the teeth and are invisible to the general public.
- Aesthetic braces: These brackets are made of ceramic matched to the color of your teeth to reduce their visibility.
- Invisalign: Clear plastic aligners that reposition your teeth in much the same way braces do but do so invisibly.
The course of treatment your orthodontist will recommend will depend upon the nature and severity of your malocclusions. No matter what your needs are, we can prescribe a treatment plan that will help bring you closer to a brilliant smile.
This article was for informational purposes only and should not be considered an adequate substitute for professional orthodontic care. If you have any additional questions or concerns about receiving orthodontic treatment during your pregnancy, or if you’re interested in beginning your journey to a better smile, contact us about scheduling a consultation.
We look forward to hearing from you and assisting you with attaining your smile goals!
Team Demas Orthodontics
27 Meriden Ave #2a, Southington, CT 06489, USA