I’m looking for information on the safety of Invisalign while pregnant. I recently started treatment and am only on my third set of aligners, so I’ve got about a year left of treatment. I also just found out that I’m pregnant and expecting my first baby. I’m only about four weeks along. My primary worry is the plastic. If I remember correctly, there was a huge thing about something in plastic or a chemical used in making certain plastics that caused issues during pregnancy and with children. Is this in the aligners I’m wearing now? If so, can I safely stop treatment and begin again after my baby is born and I’m done nursing? Secondly, and I don’t think this is an issue, is it safe to go through orthodontics while pregnant?
Congratulations on your pregnancy! It sounds like your main worry is bisphenol A (BPA), which is often used in food packaging. It came to light in 2010 that it could be dangerous, but nothing has been definitively linked to it, and the FDA seems to think it’s safe in the small amounts most of us already have in our bodies. However, some preliminary research in animals links it to cancer, hormonal issues, brain problems, and pituitary gland issues. Babies in the womb, babies, and small children would therefore be the most at-risk if the concerns are valid. A number of states have banned BPA in some form or another, thought this was done out of an abundance of caution. At any rate, you can take comfort in knowing that Invisalign aligners are BPA-free. If you wanted to stop now anyway, you could, but the aligners that have been made for you probably won’t fit when you’re ready to resume, so it would be like starting over again.
It’s perfectly safe to have braces while you’re pregnant, but there is a growing body of evidence that links periodontal disease and gingivitis to problems in pregnancy, like pre-term labor and low birthweight. While those may not sound so bad offhand, you have to consider all the complications that can result from them. Early babies aren’t developed and ready to be in the world yet, so they often have breathing trouble, jaundice, and sometimes even developmental delays, among other things. Because of this, some dental insurances are now paying for an extra cleaning when women are expecting, so they can be sure gum disease is kept at bay. This isn’t really a problem for someone who wears Invisalign. You can pop the aligners off and clean your teeth fairly easily. However, it can be difficult for pregnant women who wear traditional braces to keep their gums happy. So, keep up with your home care and professional cleaning schedule and you (and your baby) should be fine.
This blog is sponsored by Elgin dentist, Dr. Steve Sirin.