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Fixing teeth that are crooked or correcting improper bite is known as orthodontics. It involves setting patient’s teeth in the right place. Braces and clear aligners are usually used in this process to help with the alignment of teeth. When a woman is pregnant, her body undergoes various changes.
Their purpose is to accommodate the growing fetus by ensuring proper growth and nutrition. It, therefore, means a specialist must be consulted before any medical action is taken, regardless of how trivial it seems. Explained in this article are reasons why some expectant women shy away from orthodontic care and whether this treatment is safe during such periods.
Why Many Expectant Women Shy Away from Orthodontics?
• Pregnant women tend to become conscious about their bodies. Most of the body changes they undergo can hardly be considered comfortable to them and they, therefore, become choosy with what they select to add to their appearance. No one likes braces, and those bold enough to wear them usually understand that it is for their good. Expectant women, on the other hand, view braces or clear aligners as things than worsen their already awkward looks. Convincing these women otherwise can prove to be quite a task and hence, many finish their terms without receiving any orthodontic care.
• Due to the imbalance of hormones in the body, the gums usually swell, and teeth become loose. It, therefore, makes it uncomfortable for a pregnant lady to wear braces as they usually have a tight grip. Even if they are loosened, they might add to the discomfort of swollen gums.
• Nerves typically become more sensitive during pregnancy, and this can make wearing braces a painful experience. Painkillers are not an option to consider here as doctors usually discourage their use. All this may seem too much for an expectant lady to bear, so many of them choose to avoid orthodontic treatment.
• For patients who wish to withstand the pain and discomfort, regular visits to an orthodontist are encouraged. Each session has to be paid for, thus some women may view it as an extra expense. It is human nature to prioritize saving money over using it on goods or services that do not fall into the wants category. Most expectant women also prefer to put money aside in preparation for the arrival of their babies.
Importance of Treatment to Women in Pregnancy
Maintaining good hygiene during pregnancy is imperative. This not only applies to the surrounding environment but also to one’s body. Care for oral hygiene is particularly important during such a time due to various changes that occur in an expectant woman’s body.
• The morning sickness experienced when expectant exposes the teeth to acid. This may corrode them and even cause a slight change in their color. In addition to this, tooth decay is another major problem that arises when the acid is not cleaned correctly. Regular visits to the orthodontist help to prevent this issue.
• If one was going for orthodontic treatment before their pregnancy, it is essential to keep going even after. It is a way of ensuring that one does not neglect her body just because some changes are taking place. Also, it helps with keeping depression at bay during such periods.
• Expectant women usually gain a lot of weight. It changes the size of their face and mouth and braces might become too tight hence, cause discomfort and pain. Notifying the orthodontist when one becomes pregnant is crucial because they will schedule an appointment for review and collection of a new mold of one’s mouth and teeth.
• Orthodontic treatment is critical because Dr. Adam Schulhof can advise an expectant woman on the types of food she should consume to avoid any teeth or gum problems. The foods recommended are vegetables and fruits, and the ones discouraged are sugary and salty items. In the long-run, it promotes the general health of the body.
Benefits of Orthodontic Treatment
There are numerous benefits pregnant women can get from orthodontic care, and they include:
• Improving self-esteem
People with crooked teeth usually avoid talking to others or even smiling at them. It makes them socially awkward. They shy away from things like participating in conversations, addressing crowds, and answering questions in public settings because of their teeth. Such people tend to have very few friends, and this might even lead to depression. A tooth alignment treatment makes one feel beautiful. It also makes them smile more as they are no longer self-conscious and they are also capable of exploring their social potential to the fullest.
• Improves eating habits
When one’s bite is off, it can significantly influence how they eat especially in public. It discourages an individual from enjoying any particular meal when amongst people and in turn, can make one a loner. Visiting an orthodontist can help determine the cause of a bite that is off and identify an appropriate way to improve it.
Unlike other methods that may be used to fix crooked teeth, orthodontic treatment is affordable. Other techniques like plastic surgery require a lot of money. The procedure is expensive, and the aftercare also requires money.
• A safe process
Orthodontic treatment does not use steroids or anesthetics. It is, therefore, an appropriate procedure for everyone including expectant women. One does not have to worry about adverse side effects that may occur immediately after the treatment or long afterward. It enables the patient to focus on the results, which are positive for both mother and baby.
The only negative part of orthodontic treatment is a little discomfort, which women in pregnancy may feel when their gums start swelling. It can, however, be corrected by informing the orthodontist as soon as one realizes she is expectant and goes for an adjustment of the braces.
This article shows that orthodontic care has numerous benefits and is safe for pregnant women who might have had teeth alignment problems before their expectancy and also the ones who experience teeth problem after becoming pregnant.
To start on the road to a gold standard smile with Dr. Schulhof, contact us here to make an appointment.
The Schulhof Center for Cosmetic Orthodontics
125 East 69th Street
New York, NY 10021
Orthodontic Treatments During Pregnancy [Epic List]
Dr Schulhof graduated with high honours from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and received his specialty training from Columbia University.
His early interest in lingual orthodontics has led to him becoming the top provider for Incognito in the U.S. and the world. Dr Schulhof was part of the LingualCare Clinical Advisory Board and is now a Key Opinion Leader for 3M and Incognito. He has presented lectures on lingual orthodontics throughout the U.S. and worldwide. Dr Schulhof is also active in research and development and was a major contributor to the development of Incognito Lite. Recently, New Jersey Orthodontist Dr Schulhof has opened a satellite practice in NYC.