Can I Start Orthodontic Treatment While Pregnant?
Once you’ve found out you’re expecting, it seems there are a million things you’re not allowed to do or are too scared to do, just in case, so you may be surprised to hear that getting orthodontic treatment is not one of them.
If you are considering braces and just found out you’re pregnant, or are receiving orthodontic treatment and have discovered you’re pregnant, you can go ahead and invest in your smile or carry on with your care as you were.
It’s very important, however, to tell your orthodontist you’re pregnant so that they can adjust treatment where necessary. It’s also a good idea to inform your doctor about your pregnancy (which I'm sure you will) but that you are also receiving orthodontic care so that all members of your medical team understand what's involved for you over the course of your pregnancy.
It is also wise to understand how pregnancy can affect your teeth before undergoing orthodontic treatment.
How Are Our Teeth Affected During Pregnancy?
Your body undergoes huge changes during pregnancy, so it’s no surprise that your teeth and gums will change too. Pregnancy can cause some women to develop inflammation in the gums, which can lead to swelling and bleeding.
It is important to tell your orthodontist if you are pregnant because they will need to consider these changes when performing your treatment. It may also be necessary to schedule more regular appointments as your teeth may change at a slower or quicker rate. Most patients need to see their orthodontists every 8 weeks but being pregnant may mean you need a check-up every 5 or 6. We would also encourage regular visits to your hygienist to ensure your gum health is in the best shape.
Ensuring the Right Diet for Pregnancy and Braces
One of the more complicated matters of having braces through pregnancy is ensuring that you’re eating the right diet to support you and your baby but also to ensure your braces remain intact and working as best they can.
A high protein diet has been shown to be supportive of mother and baby throughout pregnancy, not to mention it increases breast milk production, but the most popular forms of protein we think of may not be easy on our teeth and braces. Very chewy meat can break your braces and is best avoided, other foods that are best avoided when wearing your braces are:
- Chewy foods such as chewy sweets or dried fruits.
- Crunchy foods such as crisps, nuts, apples, and raw carrot sticks.
- Tough foods such as crusty bread, thick pizza crusts and steak.
- Brittle foods such as popcorn, seeds, or hard-boiled sweets.
- Ice- you may be tempted to chew on ice to relieve any discomfort from swollen gums in pregnancy, but this could break your brackets.
That may seem like a long list but there are still great sources of nutrition that can be had from other food groups. Protein in the form of cooked eggs, chicken breast, cheese, yoghurt and fish can also be a great source of nutrition throughout pregnancy and something which is easy on your braces, but you must ensure it is well cooked and avoid any that contain mercury such as swordfish and mackerel. Lentils, beans, and tofu are also great sources of protein throughout pregnancy and throughout your brace’s treatment.
Maintaining Oral Hygiene When You Have Braces During Pregnancy
Oral hygiene is of great importance for everyone but especially for those with braces and even more so if you’re pregnant. It’s easy for food particles to get stuck in your braces and bacteria to build up so cleaning regularly, with the tools your orthodontist will provide is essential to keep your gums healthy. Something that can cause problems for pregnant women with braces is morning sickness. If you are unfortunate enough to suffer from morning sickness, the acid that your teeth are exposed to is highly erosive on your teeth, so it's important that your teeth are brushed immediately afterwards.
Your orthodontist will take the time to show you how to properly brush your teeth with your braces fitted and how to maintain hygiene throughout the day with various orthodontic tools.
Minor Complications You Could Experience
Of course, there are risks involved with braces treatment and when it comes to being pregnant and getting braces, it’s understandable to worry about the safety of yourself and your baby. One of the factors you may be unsure about is getting X-Rays during your treatment. Your orthodontist will need to take medical images of your teeth to gain an understanding of how to proceed and while it is best to avoid even small amounts of radiation while you are pregnant, there are precautions your orthodontist will take.
It is also possible that pregnant women may experience more pain than others during their orthodontic treatment, this is because nerve sensitivity increases during pregnancy as well as increased inflammation in the gums. It’s not guaranteed that this will affect every pregnant woman, but it is a possibility.
How Can Northenden House Orthodontics in Manchester Help You?
At Northenden House Orthodontics in Manchester, our team of orthodontists have undergone extensive training and we utilise the latest technology advances, along with the latest in digital imaging to ensure that you receive the most effective care possible. So, if you’re pregnant and wish to seek orthodontic treatment, we here at Northenden House Orthodontics in Manchester are fully equipped and ready to welcome you on your orthodontic journey.
Contact us today if you would like to book or discuss an initial free consultation to find out more about the treatments available.
- Mohammad Malik