Serena Williams won her 23rd Grand Slam title at the Australian Open while five months pregnant. At six months pregnant, with twins, no less, Marissa Mayer became Yahoo’s CEO. Jacinda Ardern found out she was pregnant the day she became the youngest female Prime Minister in New Zealand’s history. Ang Dami Sherpa reached the top of Mount Everest three months pregnant.
It’s safe to say that you can do anything pregnant, and if you’re wondering, “Can I get braces while pregnant?” you’ve come to the right place!
Dr. Melanie Wang has been perfecting smiles in the San Diego area since 2007. She’s passionate about adult orthodontic options for every stage of life, even during pregnancy! She is well versed in the science and aesthetics of orthodontia thanks to her considerable breadth of training.
According to Dr. Melanie, as well as a mountain of research, it’s perfectly safe to wear braces during pregnancy. However, a few precautions must be taken, so it’s imperative to see an orthodontic specialist. Keep in mind that 100% of orthodontists are dentists, but not all dentists are orthodontists.
If you are trying or planning to get pregnant and considering orthodontic treatment, sooner is better than later to start the process. Especially from a timing standpoint, getting braces means attending regular appointments, which is much more convenient when you don’t have the needs of a little one occupying most of your time.
While this isn’t always possible, it’s important to note that getting your braces installed at any stage of your pregnancy is permissible and perfectly safe for most people. However, you will want to consult with your OB/GYN before beginning any type of dental or medical treatment.
Big Changes to your Life and… Smile?
There’s a considerable amount of excitement and emotion thanks to the new little life growing inside of you, in addition to the added hormones surging through your body. These factors can cause extra anxiety when entertaining the thought of getting braces. Get ready to take that sigh of relief because Dr. Melanie’s a pro at fostering a relaxing, informative and non-judgemental environment.
Dr. Melanie has three children of her own, making her well-acquainted with the challenges and joys of pregnancy. She’s very sensitive to the needs of her diverse patient base. Along with her team, she creates a calm atmosphere, which makes patients feel welcome and at ease.
A Designer Smile: The Gift that Keeps on Giving
Though perhaps not as seismic as the experience of carrying a child, getting adult braces can be a life-altering experience, too. In addition to the aesthetic benefits of a designer smile, having a functional bite and straight teeth can improve your quality of life and overall health. The myriad benefits of orthodontic treatment include:
- Makes teeth easier to clean, reducing your risk of tooth decay and gum disease
- Minimizes the chance for dental injury by shifting protruding teeth into place
- Aids in preventing bone and gum loss;
- Reduces the uneven wear of tooth enamel;
- Helps you chew and speak properly
- Can alleviate jaw pain and headaches, in some cases
- Improves your appearance and brings your facial features into harmony
- Boosts your confidence and self-esteem!
Brace Yourself for Options
In between deciding the theme of your baby’s nursery or whether you’ll pick a gender-neutral moniker or something more traditional, it seems like all the choices you have to make when you’re pregnant are endless. Luckily, when it comes to the most suitable type of braces for your designer smile, our team will offer expert guidance. Options include:
The most common type of braces are traditional metal braces. Modern-day braces are smaller and more comfortable today than they’ve ever been before. Metal braces straighten teeth using metal brackets and archwires made from high-grade stainless steel.
Dr. Melanie uses a cutting-edge braces system, so your braces will be way more comfortable, effective and attractive than those of yesteryear. These innovative brackets are custom designed for your smile using digital treatment planning. They’re placed with unsurpassed precision thanks to our 3D-printed indirect bonding trays.
Looking for a little extra panache to your orthodontics treatment? Patients can add colorful elastics (rubber bands) that fit around their braces, making these braces fully customizable, fun and unique for wearers of all ages.
Maybe you’re keen to keep things subtle, and that is where clear braces come in. Like their metal counterparts, having clear braces while pregnant is safe. Do you want the straightening power of braces without the metallic shimmer? Ceramic or clear braces are a great alternative to traditional metallic braces and are popular with our teen and adult patients alike. Translucent brackets, designed to blend in with your smile, make them much less noticeable. We use lower-profile ceramic brackets that are durable, small and resist staining.
Our Custom Braces System
We use a custom braces system at our practice. Whether you choose metal or clear braces, your treatment will start with a quick, painless digital scan. Dr. Melanie will use the scan to map out your perfect smile before you begin. The software we utilize chooses braces brackets that are the ideal shape for your teeth so that you can get the best possible results.
The braces will be attached to your teeth in the right position using custom 3D-printed trays. Since the braces are made especially for your smile, they require fewer adjustments and appointments, giving you more time to enjoy your burgeoning bump, and get some rest before your bundle of joy is here. With our custom braces, there is also less inflammation, reduced pain, less time spent in braces and better outcomes.
Wearing clear aligners while pregnant is the better option for some patients. Since you can brush and floss as you normally do without brackets and wires in the way, aligners are helpful for those with pregnancy-related gum inflammation. Plus, there are no food restrictions, so you can maintain a healthy diet and eat whatever you’re craving.
At Dr. Melanie Orthodontics, we offer 3M™ Clarity™ Aligners, Invisalign® and our own, in-house TLC Aligners. Aligners are custom-made for your unique smile using digital treatment planning.
Our aligner patients can even take advantage of Grin® Remote Monitoring. You’ll take quick scans of your teeth and submit them through the Grin app, so Dr. Melanie can monitor your progress remotely. This will mean fewer in-person appointments. And once you have the baby, your treatment won’t be interrupted even if you’re not able to get to the office for a few weeks.
Have a Thirst for Safety First?
While we’ve covered the fact that it’s perfectly safe to wear braces or clear aligners, you may have concerns about getting dental x-rays during pregnancy. We get that not everyone is comfortable with the idea. If we already created your treatment plan and then you become pregnant, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that we won’t need to take any additional x-rays while we’re straightening your teeth.
Though it is important to keep exposure to radiation from medical images to a minimum, if you do decide to start orthodontic treatment during pregnancy, our team will take all the precautions necessary to keep you and your baby safe and healthy, including using protective shielding and high-tech, digital x-rays that emit less radiation.
Pregnancy: Navigating a Proclivity towards Tooth Sensitivity
You’ve probably heard that your teeth and gums can also see changes like the rest of your body during pregnancy. Many women experience gum disease, or gingivitis, while pregnant, despite being ardent flossers and brushers.
Other women who are unfortunately prone to morning sickness may notice that they have more sensitive teeth because stomach acid can erode the enamel. Pregnancy can also cause nerve sensitivity, making braces a little uncomfortable. Still, thanks to the cutting-edge technology offered at Dr. Melanie Orthodontics, our treatments cause less discomfort.
To keep your smile healthy throughout the process:
- Be extra diligent about brushing your teeth after meals and snacks using a fluoride toothpaste and soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Floss once daily.
- If your gums are bleeding and swollen, try adding a water flosser and mouth rinse to your routine to get rid of even more plaque and food debris.
- Keep up with routine dental exams and cleanings with your general dentist throughout your pregnancy and orthodontic treatment.
- If you have morning sickness, rinse your mouth out with water after vomiting to prevent the acids from sticking around.
In the Market for a New Smile to Match Your New Bundle of Joy?
If you already started treatment and get pregnant, let our team know. We’ll make sure your needs are met and provide guidance on keeping your mouth healthy.
If you haven’t kicked off treatment and want to find out if you’re a good candidate for getting clear aligners or braces while pregnant, schedule a complimentary in-person or virtual consultation at our San Diego or Rancho Santa Fe orthodontics office.