Pregnancy is a stage in which many changes occur in the body of a woman and the mouth is no exception. Many women wonder if being pregnant can affect the course of their orthodontic treatment, or if they are thinking of starting treatment while pregnant and the answer is no. There is no reason concerning health and is completely safe. Only certain considerations in this regard should be taken. I will explain everything here.
1. Wearing braces does not imply any drastic diet changes, except during the initial days of activation when teeth are more sensitive .
2. As the body is witnessing numerous hormonal changes during pregnancy, gums may be affected becoming swollen and bleeding. If before pregnancy you have poor hygiene, situation may become worse.
3. Fixed appliances ( braces ) alone are a potential plaque retentive source and if we add the gingival changes that may occur during pregnancy makes its a potential threat to oral health. This is why it is very important to maintain proper hygiene. Regular check ups and cleanings are recommended. During pregnancy this check ups are often reduced and postponed after giving birth due to thinking that little can be done while pregnant. Studies have found that there is a correlation between gum disease and increased risk of low birth weight babies.* So, this is why it is so important to get checked out even if their is no discomfort.
*P. Mukherjee, K Almas. Orthodontic considerations for gingival health during pregnancy. Int J Dent Hygiene 2010; 8: 3–9
4. If the mother has had serious complications in previous pregnancies, it is recommended to start orthodontic treatment after the baby's birth. There is no reason to make it a more complex situation.
5. According to the American College of Radiology, no single diagnostic x-ray has a radiation dose significant enough to cause adverse effects in a developing embryo or fetus. Meanwhile, the American Dental Association (ADA ) considers it a safe procedure as long as protective barriers are being placed.
In orthodontic treatment, x-rays are needed before starting and during treatment. As a precaution and even though it is considered safe, it is advisable to avoid radiation exposure during the first trimester of pregnancy since it is the most vulnerable stage of fetus development.
Dra. Gina De Los Santos