Orthodontics and pregnancy

Is it convenient to undergo orthodontic treatment while pregnant? Should dental treatment be stopped if during pregnancy the woman becomes pregnant? Should special measures be taken for that case? These are some of the most frequent questions when it comes to orthodontics and pregnancy. In general, it can be said that in principle nothing discourages taking orthodontics while pregnant, however, if you are in that situation, it is advisable to go to an orthodontist so that it is he who values ​​the possibilities.

During pregnancy, the woman must take care of her health so that nothing affects the baby. In this way, it will control the food that it takes, the beauty treatments to which it is submitted, the sport that it carries out, etc., with the objective that nothing has an impact on the gestation. In this sense, orthodontics will be another factor to consider, which should be a reason to consult with the dentist to rule out that it may be harmful to the future child’s health.

There will be women who during orthodontic treatment want to be mothers and have become pregnant, which would not pose any risk to the baby. This does not mean that the patient should tell her orthodontist to avoid tests such as dental x-rays, which can be harmful to the fetus.

Other patients want to put on a dental appliance, but would like to get pregnant during the time the treatment lasts. Given that orthodontic treatments are more or less long, since they can last between 12 and 24 months, it is better that the woman wait to perform all the tests that this treatment entails (dental x-rays and others before becoming pregnant). Specialists usually recommend patients with mild problems, use removable appliances or invisible. With these treatments it is easier to take care of oral hygiene than with fixed appliances, which will reduce the chances of suffering gum problems or the discomfort of fixed braces.

Finally, some patients may wish to correct the position of their teeth while pregnant, in this case, it is not convenient to start orthodontic treatment while pregnant. The reason is that a good diagnostic study and planning of treatment with the appropriate orthodontic appliances could not be carried out, since it is necessary to perform diagnostic tests such as panoramic radiographs (with which all the teeth can be seen) and a lateral radiograph. of the skull (to see if there are skeletal problems in the bad dental position).

What is the best time to get a device while pregnant?

When a woman is pregnant, she undergoes certain hormonal changes that increase the risk of developing dental problems, such as inflammation of the gums (gingivitis). Normally this gingivitis is caused by the accumulation of dental plaque, which means that if orthodontics is also used, the risk of gingivitis increases, because the device hinders good oral hygiene.

Even so, this is not a reason for not being able to perform orthodontic treatment during pregnancy, simply the patient should brush better and more usually the teeth, because being pregnant has an added predisposition to suffer inflammation of the gums.

That said, it is important to specify that the worst time to perform any dental treatment, regardless of orthodontics, is the first trimester of pregnancy, period in which the fetus is developing (heart, brain, nervous system, etc.). During this stage the expectant mother can only undergo emergency treatment.

From the second trimester the pregnant woman can already undergo almost any dental treatment, because there is no danger, even in the case of having to use local anesthesia. However, the patient must inform the dentist of her condition, so that she may take it into account when initiating any procedure.

For example, specialists will not advise the use of nitrous oxide, since this product if used during the first and third trimesters of pregnancy can overstimulate the muscles of the uterus and cause spontaneous abortions (in the first trimester of pregnancy) or the appearance of contractions with the risk of premature birth (during the third trimester). In fact, if the pregnant woman had a history of premature births, she should even avoid treatment even if she was in the last months of pregnancy.

It is better to wait to give birth before starting treatment

In spite of all this, it will always be better for the patient to finish the pregnancy before undergoing orthodontic treatment, to guarantee that there is no problem. Well, this way you can carry out the previous study and all the necessary tests for an adequate diagnosis and planning of the treatment.

In the case of orthodontics and pregnancy , within the necessary tests there are some that do not involve any risk for pregnancy, such as photographs of the face and teeth, and the registration of the patient’s bite or molds; but there are others that are discouraged, such as x-rays.

In some cases, it happens that the patient needs a radiographic examination for a dental treatment prior to her pregnancy. This, according to some specialists, usually does not involve risks if they are not directed to the abdomen and the amount of radiation is small (so if you put on a lead apron that protects the belly and the baby) it could be done.

Apart from all this, it should be noted that the pregnant patient during the last month of pregnancy usually experiences more discomfort which will make her very uncomfortable in the orthodontist’s chair for a long time. Therefore, it will always be better that the baby is born to undergo long orthodontic treatments.

Should orthodontics be stopped if the woman becomes pregnant?

As for the question of whether to suspend orthodontic treatment in the event that the patient becomes pregnant, the answer is no, since there is no risk. You will only have to inform your orthodontist so that you take the necessary precautionary measures.

In summary, it is not advisable to start orthodontic treatment while pregnant (due to the impossibility of carrying out the previous study with radiographs), but if the patient is orthodontic ally and becomes pregnant, there is no risk for pregnancy. Therefore, it is not necessary to suspend the dental treatment, only to inform the orthodontist of the news to apply the appropriate measures and to explain the special care of hygiene and oral cleaning.

Thus, a woman can wear orthodontics and be pregnant. Although you should take into account the factors that could affect you during your pregnancy:

  • The performance of certain radiographs, which could cause alterations in the formation of the fetus, especially during the first trimester. Therefore, the pregnant woman will be forbidden to perform this test, which will prevent her from making a good diagnosis of her dental problem and an adequate treatment for her. But if the woman had a relatively current radiograph, perhaps the orthodontist could work with her. On the other hand, patients who have not yet become pregnant will be able to undergo the most important tests (panoramic and lateral radiography) before it and then start treatment without problems.
  • The gravid arum pregnancy gingivitis, produced as a result of hormonal changes or gum inflammation. This type of gingivitis can be controlled with a proper daily dental hygiene, which would prevent the accumulation of tartar or that this condition becomes periodontitis.
  • Other annoyances. The pregnant woman who has fixed appliances will suffer more discomfort during the revisions than the one with removable appliances. In those cases, you will only be allowed to take acetaminophen, which is one of the few drugs that do not affect the fetus and that can be taken during pregnancy, although in a moderate way and when the doctor indicates it.

The main recommendation would be that the pregnant woman with orthodontics should brush her teeth very thoroughly after each meal, to prevent the gingivitis proper to pregnancy and to avoid any complications if this condition appears.