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Braces and pregnancy: Can you get braces while pregnant?

Braces and pregancy - everything you need to know

Key points:

  • Braces and pregnancy don’t need to happen separately. You can perfectly well wear aligners or braces while pregnant.
  • Teeth straightening with aligners do not affect anything but your teeth. This means your baby is safe throughout the process.
  • Pregnancy has 3 major effects on your oral health: increased gum infection; acid erosion of teeth; and an increased risk of tooth decay.

The human gestation length is around 9 months and, on average, it takes only 5 to 9 months to get straight teeth with clear aligners. With many women asking about braces during pregnancy, here is a breakdown of all you need to know before getting started.

Braces and pregnancy – before finding out you’re pregnant

Compared with other irreversible cosmetic procedures or treatments that require oral or intravenous medication, teeth straightening with braces or removable aligners do not affect the rest of your body so there’s absolutely nothing to be scared off if you’re trying to get pregnant and want to get started with orthodontics at the same time.

First you need to make sure you’re dentally healthy, so you have had your dental checkups and any hygiene treatments or fillings you may need. Then once you are dentally healthy you can start any type of teeth straightening treatment – such as fixed braces or aligners.

So if you’ve already started the process of getting straight teeth or in the middle of orthodontic treatment you can continue the process without affecting your unborn child.

How does pregnancy affect oral health?

Pregnancy can have 3 oral effects on you…

  • Increased Gum Inflammation: caused by hormone changes
  • Acid Erosion of teeth: caused by morning sickness and vomiting
  • Increased risk of decay: caused by dry mouth

Pregnancy effects on oral health

Orthodontics during pregnancy and increased gum inflammation

Hormonal changes in pregnancy means that gums have an increased reaction to plaque. The same amount of plaque and calculus that would cause gingivitis in a non-pregnant person, creates a much worse gingivitis and gum swelling in a pregnant woman.

If the inflammation is not properly managed it can easily turn into a much more serious issue and deteriorate, leading to gum disease. How can you tackle this issue? Glad you asked. In order to manage increased gum inflammation you might want to use:

  • An electric toothbrush;
  • Interproximal brushes;
  • Mouthwash;
  • Ocasional professional cleaning

If you are straightening your teeth the best you can do is to choose the solution that enables the best oral hygiene.

  • Fixed braces are well known for their difficulty to clean and the increased gingivitis and gum health risks whilst wearing them. If you add up the “pregnancy factor” you will have much more bleeding of the gums, greater oral discomfort and a much harder oral health maintenance.
  • Clear aligners are known for their increased oral hygiene capabilities. Aligners are fully removable, there are no wires trapping food, and the gum health can be maintained in an easier way.

Removable aligners would then be the obvious choice for someone thinking they may be pregnant during the following 9 months.

How to protect your oral health while pregnant

Morning sickness is as well known as it can be uncomfortable. Different women experience different levels of morning sickness. Anything that is highly acidic coming into contact with your teeth will cause acid erosion (thinning) of your teeth. This needs to be managed carefully. If you have very severe morning sickness day after day, this will have a compounded effect on your teeth, causing thinning day after day unless you manage this proactively.

So after an episode of morning sickness the best thing to do is to hydrate and neutralise your mouth. You shouldn’t brush your teeth right away as that will remove the softened enamel layer. Instead, you should rinse your mouth with water or baking soda to neutralise the acid in your mouth thus minimising further erosion.

There are also remineralising toothpastes that get absorbed into the tooth surface. Using pastes like Regenerate™ in trays or aligners can help bathe the tooth to absorb the minerals it needs after an acid attack.

How to prevent tooth decay during pregnancy

During pregnancy it is very common to have a dry mouth. The problem with this is that we lose the natural protective functions of saliva. Saliva helps neutralise acid decay after eating sugar and keeps the mouth comfortable and lubricated. Once your mouth is dry, if you have any sugar in it, the bacteria in your mouth produce acid that will eat the tooth surface – this is called decay.

To prevent this it is important to drink plenty of water and also minimise sugary foods & drinks. 

  • With fixed braces teeth become harder to clean resulting in what is known as white spot lesions. Decay then happens around the fixed brace bracket, meaning when your braces are removed the teeth are discoloured and unhealthy.

Clear aligners make it easier to clean teeth (and you don’t need to take them out to drink water!). For people with very dry mouths it is possible to buy saliva substitutes as oral sprays too. This can help keep your mouth comfortable as otherwise dry lips and cheeks can lead to greater pain and discomfort too.

Braces and pregnancy – Getting started risk free

You’re absolutely safe to start orthodontic treatment during your pregnancy as it won’t affect the normal development of your baby. Removable aligners are ideal as you can take them out to eat and brush your teeth to keep an ideal oral hygiene and avoid plaque or decay. The only thing that has to be thought of before conception is the x-rays and scans that may be required depending on your case.

  • A solution that works around your pregnancy schedule

With Straight Teeth Direct everything is done at your own pace. All the communication and reviews with your orthodontist are done via your secure account where you can consult your conversation history anytime, anywhere.

At the beginning of the process you’ll be given the option to share your most recent dental records including x-rays and gum scores taken before pregnancy. The most important thing here is that you’ve seen your dentist recently and your teeth and gums are healthy.

Here’s what Katie was able to achieve during her pregnancy:

Katie before and after clear aligners while pregnant

“I’ve found the whole transformation incredible, little effort and fast results and all for a fraction of the cost that I’d been quoted elsewhere. I thought going for the lower cost option maybe wouldn’t give me quite as good results but it’s clear to see that’s not the case. Couldn’t recommend Straight Teeth Direct more!”

  • No extra financial pressure with affordable teeth aligners

Expecting a child can be overwhelming. There’s loads of things to buy, from prenatal care items to baby supplies. And let’s not forget expenses to cover in the years to come, such as education.

So taking care of yourself becomes harder. Your confidence and your own well being won’t probably be a priority when you’re pregnant.

When comparing braces cost, some clear aligners companies tend to offer the most expensive options. But you still know it’s going to be better for you to keep optimal oral health during pregnancy.

Stress isn’t good for your baby, so we designed a solution that’s stress free and includes a free e-consultation, making clear braces and pregnancy a smooth and happy process 🙂

Clear aligners don't add extra financial pressure


  • Can you get braces while pregnant?

Short answer: Yes. You will need to properly plan your treatment and constantly monitor the progress with a trusted dentist or orthodontist. It is then safe to start an orthodontic treatment during pregnancy as this will not affect your baby’s development. Choose wisely! If you opt for fixed braces, you won’t be able to remove them to eat or brush your teeth. Thus making it harder as you to keep the best oral hygiene you could have with removable clear aligners.

  • Can you give birth while wearing braces or aligners?

There is no evidence on giving birth with braces or aligners being anything but safe. However, as braces may cause you some natural discomfort this may add up to the already present discomfort when delivering.

  • Can you remove braces while pregnant?

Short answer is yes, you can – there are no contradictions on removing braces while pregnant. No medication is used. If you opted for a clear aligners alternative, the procedure is much more comfortable. Mainly because there is nothing to remove in a sense that aligners themselves are already removable.

  • Is plastic used in aligners safe during pregnancy?

All our aligners and retainers are made of BPA-free plastic materials. Despite that, aligners and braces are totally safe to wear while pregnant. People are usually concerned about the materials used, however there is no need to worry about that. There is no way materials would influence the child’s growth and development.

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