With an increasing trend of adults undergoing orthodontic treatments, the concerns of pregnant women regarding such procedures are also growing. Many fear variations in hormone levels, necessary x-ray scans, and even potentially looser teeth can all make it unsafe to begin or continue orthodontics if pregnant. While there are certainly things to consider and additional steps to take, there are many ways to ensure the health of both the mother and the baby if you choose to undergo this type of work while carrying. Here we will lay out a few of these concerns in detail and discuss how to overcome them.
Things to Do Prior to Orthodontics
First and foremost, if you are considering seeking any type of orthodontic treatment or procedures while you are pregnant, it is imperative that your orthodontist know that you are pregnant. Regardless of how far along you may be, whether it be a few weeks or a few months along. It is of the utmost importance that you have this conversation with any potential orthodontist prior to beginning any type of treatment.
Your pregnancy may be obvious to you, but to someone who sees countless patients per day, it can be easy to overlook these seemingly irrelevant details. The same goes for having a discussion with your obstetrician as well. Every step of the way throughout your pregnancy, transparency is integral. Therefore each medical professional should be aware of any others you are considering seeing. And of course any procedures you are considering undergoing.
Part of the conversations with these professionals should be about the potential length of treatment, as well as your various options. Determine whether traditional braces are the best solution for you. Perhaps an alternative method would be best suited for you. We’ll talk about comfort and convenience later, but it’s important to keep these things in mind when you’re discussing your options too.
Common Concerns During Treatment
Now that you’re on your way to a better smile by deciding to have orthodontic work completed, let’s take some time to break down some of the common concerns when it comes to orthodonture:
- 3D scanning
- Pain medication
The early stages of orthodontic treatment include routine things like 3D scans being taken of the woman’s head and mouth. Many are concerned about radiation impacting their pregnancy. This can be caused by the types of x-ray machinery used in many orthodontic offices. However, since this type of work is becoming more and more common in pregnant women, it is also becoming more common for orthodontists to have protective clothing and equipment for these specific cases. This would include devices that can be placed on or around your stomach to ensure no radiation from the machine reaches your unborn child. In fact, it would be abnormal nowadays if an orthodontist did not have this type of equipment at the ready.
You Might Be Wondering
A very common misconception regarding orthodontic work is that it requires that anesthetics. While many dental procedures do require that anesthetics be used for the comfort and safety of the patient, orthodontics is rarely one of them. The process of applying brackets and wires requires little contact with overly sensitive surfaces like your gums, focusing more on the teeth themselves, and therefore incur little to no pain or discomfort on the patient. Because of this, anesthetics are rendered unnecessary during these types of procedures and dental installations. With alternative measures to traditional methods like Invisalign, this type of procedure is sometimes not even required.
The same can be said for pain medication. It is commonly known that excessive consumption of medication, especially pain medication, can sometimes lead to complications while pregnant and during childbirth, and can even sometimes impact the health of the child after birth, however since orthodontics can be virtually painless today, these medications are usually not required or even requested by the patient regularly. If you’re not taking the medications, then there is no need to worry about the impact they may have on your health or your baby’s.
But Here’s the Kicker
Once you decide on the type of orthodontics to undergo, the rest is usually smooth sailing on your part, so it’s important to make the right choice right off the bat. Consider things like your comfort and convenience. Think of your time and the effort you want to put in. Many see this type of work as much easier to complete prior to childbirth anyway. If you find out that you’re pregnant, maybe it’s in your best interest to get the trouble out of the way. With doctor’s visits for your baby, you might not have time to visit the orthodontist yourself. It might be prudent to get it out of the way before your new baby arrives.
Convenience is also a factor in determining between things like traditional braces and alternatives like Invisalign. Braces require less thought and leave little room for forgetfulness to impact the procedure. With permanent brackets and wires, you don’t have to remember to wear anything — it’s already there. However, the convenience of Invisalign means you don’t have to always wear them. You can maintain a metal-free smile, and you can choose to move at your own pace. Neither convenience nor comfort really has much impact on the safety of undergoing orthodonture while pregnant. However, they do play a role overall.
Want to Know the Best Part?
While there are some certain ways to keep yourself and your child safe during this work. The best way to do this is to have these conversations with an orthodontist. Drs. Sam King & Jack King have plenty of experience in situations like this. They would be happy to assist you in making any decisions. So give us a call to arrange an appointment. We give you the smile of your life, even when you’re about to have a new one on your hands.
400 East Dayton
Yellow Springs Road
Fairborn, OH 45324
Phone: (937) 878-1561
Are Orthodontic Treatments [During Pregnancy] Safe?