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Braces & Pregnancy

What to expect with your Forever Smile

So, you’re expecting a baby? Congratulations! While there are likely a million things on your mind you should probably table orthodontic treatment as one of them. That’s right. If you’ve ever heard us say it’s never a bad time to get straighter teeth or consider braces, when you’re pregnant is pretty much one of the only times you’ll hear us say, “don’t do it.”

You see, Dr. Yan Razdolsky and the Forever Smiles team utilize ultra-low dose, iCat Cone Beam 3D x-ray imaging for evaluation and treatment planning. Although radiation exposure risk from iCat is at or near zero, he and the team must ensure the patients safety and understanding of relative risk is first and foremost. That’s why Dr. Razdolsky recommends expecting moms to hold off on treatment until after baby is born.

For expecting Moms already in braces, however, Dr. Razdolsky says now is a perfectly safe time to undergo orthodontic treatment. (Just be sure to tell him at your next appointment you are pregnant.) Although routine orthodontic processes and procedures are perfectly safe during pregnancy, some protocols may require greater care and observation during treatment. For example, pregnant moms may be surprised to learn how their new condition impacts their dentition. Hormones during pregnancy can affect teeth in many ways. This can include inflammation in the gums, loosening teeth and swelling. Don’t worry, your teeth aren’t at risk of falling out! They will anchor in once baby is born, but it is important for Dr. Razdolsky to know you are pregnant as it may impact the progression and timeline of your orthodontic treatment. Because of this, it may also be necessary to schedule your orthodontic appointments more frequently, so the Forever Smiles team can more closely monitor your progress and make necessary adjustments to keep you on track.

Dr. Razdolsky and the team cannot stress enough the importance of good oral hygiene, especially if you are pregnant and suffering from morning sickness. If braces are exposed to powerful stomach acids from vomiting it can not only destroy the metals over time it can erode your teeth causing a host of issues down the road. That’s why it is important to rinse and brush your teeth after each bout of morning sickness in addition to your routine orthodontic regimen and care.

Not coincidentally, caring for developing baby and your braces during pregnancy both include a healthy diet. But all that’s good for baby is not always good for your braces! Evidence shows a diet as high as 70 to 100 grams per day in protein increases the production of breast milk, but some meats can be tough to chew and not safe for those with braces. Moms-to-be with braces should avoid meats like beef jerky or tough steak. Instead, look to braces-friendly protein options such as eggs, chicken breast, fish (especially salmon), cottage cheese and Greek yogurt. Dr. Razdolsky advises expectant moms to consult with their obstetrician regarding specific dietary choices. For example, while some fish offer a great protein source, they can also contain mercury which could impact baby’s developing brain and nervous system when you’re pregnant.

In addition to eating a healthy, balanced diet for baby, Dr. Razdolsky and the team advise moms-to-be to watch out for crunchy, tough, chewy, and brittle foods which can bend wires or dislodge brackets. Some expectant moms might also be tempted to chew on ice to soothe swollen gums during pregnancy. Don’t! There’s nothing worse than the discomfort caused by a protruding wire or floating bracket--except maybe experiencing it while you’re also pregnant!

So, that said… are braces more painful while you pregnant? Maybe. No one can say for sure, but some expectant moms may experience a little more discomfort than others. Likely this is due to increased nerve sensitivity and doesn’t happen to everyone. That’s why Dr. Yan Razdolsky and the Forever Smiles team are here with you every step of the way. We love welcoming a new baby to the family, it gives us all more reason to smile!

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