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Braces and Invisalign are orthodontic treatments used to align your teeth and smile. Although pregnancy requires avoiding many things, orthodontic treatments are considered safe.
However, increased hormone production during pregnancy can negatively affect oral health. If you have braces or use clear aligners while pregnant, there are several things to keep in mind to keep your teeth healthy.
There is no medical reason to avoid getting braces or Invisalign while pregnant. Although the body undergoes several major changes during pregnancy, professionals agree that orthodontic treatments are safe.
Braces and Invisalign don’t affect anything other than teeth. Therefore, the baby will be safe and unaffected throughout treatment.
Clear aligners can save you thousands of dollars compared to braces. Learn about clear aligners.
Orthodontic treatments are entirely safe to undergo while pregnant. Getting braces or clear aligners during pregnancy may even benefit some people.
This is because you can:
Pregnancy affects oral health. The three main ways in which pregnancy alters your oral health are:
When you’re pregnant, you endure several hormonal changes. These hormonal changes can affect many different aspects of your body, including your oral health.
Pregnancy hormonal changes can increase your body’s reaction to plaque buildup. For example, the amount of plaque that may cause gingivitis in a non-pregnant person’s mouth can cause a severe reaction in a pregnant person.
If not cared for, gingivitis during pregnancy can become severe. Gum disease is common in pregnant people.
Morning sickness is a common side effect of pregnancy. More than 70% of pregnant women experience throwing up due to pregnancy.1
Excessive vomiting can cause tooth erosion due to the high acid content.
During pregnancy, acid erosion can cause teeth to feel extremely sensitive. This may make wearing braces or Invisalign uncomfortable or even impossible.
The hormones progesterone and estrogen heighten during pregnancy. These hormones can increase the risk of certain oral health problems, including tooth decay.
Tooth decay is often common during pregnancy because of dietary changes. For example, you may crave various unhealthy or sugary foods while carrying a child, which can lead to cavities.
In addition, you may find yourself brushing or flossing less than average while pregnant. This can be due to gum and teeth sensitivity. Lack of flossing and brushing can lead to cavities and gum disease.
We recommend at-home clear aligners if you have mild teeth misalignment. View our top recommendations.
Caring for your teeth while pregnant is essential to good health. Oral health becomes even more critical if you undergo orthodontic treatment during pregnancy.
Here are some tips for how to best care for your teeth while you are pregnant:
Morning sickness causes acid erosion, which can severely damage teeth. To ensure morning sickness doesn’t negatively impact your teeth, rinse your mouth thoroughly after vomiting.
Instead of brushing right after vomiting, rinse your mouth with water and baking soda to neutralize the acid in your mouth. Brushing directly after throwing up can remove the softened enamel layer of your teeth.
It is recommended to wait 30 minutes after an acid attack to brush your teeth, this includes eating, drinking or vomiting.
Dry mouth is a common symptom of pregnancy. Saliva neutralizes acid after you eat sugar, and it keeps the mouth lubricated. If you lack saliva and eat sugar, mouth bacteria can create an acid that eats away at your teeth’s surface.
To prevent tooth decay while pregnant, avoid sugary foods and beverages. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
Fixed braces or Invisalign can make cleaning your teeth challenging. Therefore, decay and discoloration become more likely.
In addition to drinking lots of water, consider using a Waterpik to clean your teeth thoroughly.
Schedule regular dentist visits for routine cleanings and check-ups. This ensures optimal oral health and can also serve as preventative care.
A dentist can spot any adverse changes in your oral health. They can then treat any decay, cavities, or gum disease immediately.
According to Dr. Nandita Lilly, one of NewMouth’s resident dentists, radiation in the form of X-rays is a concern during pregnancy. It is best to reduce or avoid exposure to even small amounts of radiation while pregnant.
However, wearing a lead apron that covers your neck and abdominal region ensures the developing baby is not exposed to radiation from the imaging.
The American Dental Association, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American Academy of Family Physicians report that it is typically safe for an orthodontist to take digital images of the teeth during pregnancy when proper shielding is used.
Interested in straightening your teeth at home? Here are the best clear aligner companies.
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The most popular at-home clear aligner kits can be found right here: