Orthodontic treatment takes time, and nobody should have to put their life on hold in order to get straight teeth. This is as true for pregnant women as it is for anyone else, though pregnancy introduces unique needs and challenges for all forms of health care — orthodontics included.
Is it safe?
Basic orthodontic treatment doesn’t put any stress on a developing fetus, so it’s totally safe to continue with an established treatment plan during pregnancy. Braces or Invisalign can even be put on during pregnancy, as long as all x-rays and scans were completed before conception. The American Academy of Family Physicians says that x-rays are safe during pregnancy, but this is still a debated topic. In the interest of safety, it’s best to avoid x-rays unless the medical benefit outweighs the potential risk.
Does orthodontic treatment require medication?
Many types of medication are unsafe for use during pregnancy, which may be a consideration for some patients. Having orthodontic devices put on or adjusted generally doesn’t require any anesthesia or other medication, so this is perfectly safe during pregnancy. An orthodontist may recommend a dental extraction before beginning treatment in some situations, which usually requires some form of anesthetic and pain management.
How can pregnancy affect straightening teeth?
While orthodontic devices are safe to wear while pregnant, there are some other factors that may make treatment more challenging for patient and orthodontist alike. Pregnancy hormones can cause teeth to be looser than usual, which may necessitate some changes in the patient’s orthodontic treatment plan. These same hormones also affect how the body responds to plaque and oral bacteria, leading to swollen gums which may cause more discomfort than usual.
How can orthodontic treatment affect pregnancy?
Orthodontic devices may impact women suffering from morning sickness or hyperemesis gravidum. Women with morning sickness generally have to be careful about what and when they eat, and may even experience trouble eating. It can take a bit to get used to eating comfortably after orthodontic treatment, which may make this period more complicated for women coping with daily morning sickness. The stomach acids released in vomit can also erode teeth and cause etching and tooth decay, so maintaining good oral hygiene and getting regular cleanings are especially important.
Can pregnancy cravings affect teeth?
While most foods that are safe for pregnant women are also safe to eat with braces, there are a couple that should be completely avoided:
- Sticky or hard candy.
- Crunchy taco shells or tortilla chips.
- Hard cookies.
Foods that need to be bitten into with the front teeth, like raw vegetables, fruit, hard bread, and meat, should be cut into small pieces before eating.
When is the best time to straighten teeth during pregnancy?
Most pregnant women who undergo orthodontic treatment during pregnancy don’t experience any problems. Since Invisalign and other orthodontic devices require a bit of getting used to, it’s often best to begin treatment before conception to give the mouth some time to adjust. This helps avoid the potential risk of x-rays, as well as reduces the likelihood of discomfort. If that isn’t possible, some women have an easier time during the second trimester when morning sickness symptoms have subsided.
It’s perfectly safe to wear and adjust braces while you’re pregnant, especially if you lay the groundwork for your treatment plan early on. As long as your x-rays are completed and you aren’t coping with other pregnancy complications, you and your orthodontist should be able to come up with a course of treatment that fits you and your pregnancy.
Call Our Office Today to Have a Free Consultation
At Tisseront Orthodontics in Reston, Va., you can meet with our orthodontist to learn more about having a gorgeous smile. Dr. Stephan Tisseront provides an assortment of treatments with these devices:
• Braces – lingual, ceramic or metal
• Aligners – designed by Invisalign
• Retainers – to keep teeth from shifting
If you want to reduce your treatment time while wearing orthodontic devices, then request an Acceledent Aura device to use at home. Our facility provides orthodontic care for adults, teenager and children. Contact us today at 703-773-1200 to schedule your free consultation.