It is never too late to get your desired smile. With orthodontic treatment being more accessible and popular among adults, many women often inquire if they are able to have it while pregnant. The fortunate news is that it is ok to continue or start getting orthodontic treatment during your pregnancy. In fact, it might even be the best time to receive it.
If you are afraid of not being able to commit to the scheduled appointments, don’t worry, as there can be flexible arrangements made. There may be an unexpected advantage when getting orthodontic treatment during pregnancy. Some mothers-to-be experience a slight increase in the speed of tooth movement caused by a boosted level of bone-stimulating hormones. With that being said, women undergoing orthodontic treatment during pregnancy might experience a reduction in the time needed for the braces to shift their teeth to the right positions.
Common concerns of pregnant women
Some of the top considerations that women have about orthodontic treatment during pregnancy are:
Is dental X-ray safe for the developing baby?
Your orthodontist will usually have to get an X-ray image of your jaws and mouth before starting your orthodontic treatment. This step enables the orthodontist to assess potential difficulties so that they can come up with the proper treatment plan. Some medical professionals recommend that pregnant women avoid X-rays, and we support this idea. However, in situations where imaging is important, e.g. when there is trauma to the jaws in a road traffic accident, it is generally not a limiting factor as a lead shield can be placed over the belly to protect the baby. The risk to the baby is reduced in the third trimester of pregnancy. The use of digital radiography and advanced imaging software further reduces the radiation exposure. When the malocclusion is mild, we may not need an X-ray before treatment as the risk of damage to surrounding tissues during tooth movement is low.
Are metal braces safe for the developing baby?
Some patients are concerned that allergenic metal particles from metal braces might end up in the bloodstream, harming the unborn baby. While there is no evidence suggesting that such a complication might occur, pregnant women undergoing orthodontic treatment can still play it safe by getting non-metal braces, such as ceramic or Invisalign braces, or low-allergenic lingual or metal braces. While the cost of clear braces is higher than traditional metal braces, they offer lots of aesthetic benefits. Furthermore, they are not that expensive.
Will I need medication should the tightened braces create pain and discomfort?
Some patients will require over-the-counter medication for pain relief after their adjustments and fitting appointments. However, before consuming any of those medications, a pregnant mother should always check with her gynaecologist and obstetrician for advice.
Do I still need to see my dentist if I am visiting my orthodontist?
It is even more crucial that pregnant women visit their dentist during their pregnancy. There are a couple of conditions that can result in dental complications during pregnancy. Some experience periodontal issues, such as pregnancy epulis and gingivitis, during their second trimester. Without regular dental visits, you run the risk of developing such problems.
So, back to the question: is orthodontic treatment safe for pregnancy? The answer is yes. But like every treatment procedure, it is vital to be careful. If you have any additional concerns that have not yet been answered, then contact us, and we will be more than glad to answer them.
Pregnancy is such a momentous period in a woman’s life, and special care is imperative. Dental treatment and oral health do not have to be disregarded during pregnancy. For more information or to make an appointment with us, you can do so at https://www.bigsmile.com.sg/.