9. Braces during Pregnancy?

It seems people of all ages are getting braces these days. We’ve been asked by women about braces for their teeth during pregnancy. They want to know if it’s OK to continue wearing braces during pregnancy, and they want to know if they can have braces put on when they’re pregnant.

Sources of Food Nutrients

(Daily Requirement)

Food Sources

Calcium (1200mg)

dairy products, dark leafy vegetables, dried beans and peas, tofu

Folic acid (0.4mg)

liver, dried beans and peas, eggs, broccoli, whole-grain products, oranges, orange juice

Iron (30mg)

fish, liver, meat, poultry, egg yolks, nuts, dried beans and peas, dark leafy vegetables, dried fruit

Magnesium (320mg)

dried beans and peas, cocoa, seafood, whole-grain products, nuts

Vitamin B6 (2.2mg)

whole-grain products, liver, meat

Vitamin E (10mg)

milk, eggs, meat, fish, cereals, dark leafy vegetables, vegetable oils

Zinc (15mg)

seafood, meat, nuts, milk, dried beans and peas

If you already have braces, some things could make treatment a bit more taxing for you. If you have morning sickness and vomit a lot, you’ll need to take very good care of your teeth. Brushing is important to clean acid off teeth. When your braces are tightened, you may want to eat soft foods, but that’s acceptable for a few days. You can take acetaminophen for any discomfort.

If you’re scheduled to have your braces put on then discover you’re pregnant, don’t panic. Contact your orthodontist, and tell him or her you’re pregnant. Discuss any plans regarding braces with your pregnancy healthcare provider and your orthodontist before any action is taken!

Concern comes if you need dental X-rays; they may be an essential part of the treatment plan. However, with modern equipment and use of digital radiography, these risks can be reduced.

You may need to have one or more teeth pulled. Tooth extraction by itself may not be dangerous, but the anesthesia necessary to pull a tooth may not be good for you or baby. Your treatment plan must be discussed and agreed upon by your pregnancy healthcare provider and your orthodontist before your begin.

If you get the go ahead to put your braces on, you may want to eat soft foods for a few days after you get them. You may also have some soreness when braces are put on or tightened. It’s OK to take acetaminophen for any discomfort.

10. Lab Tests Your Healthcare Provider May Order

When you go for your first or second prenatal visit, your healthcare provider may order a lot of tests, including blood tests. You may also have a urinalysis and urine culture, and cervical cultures to test for STDs. A Pap smear may also be done. Other tests are done as required.

Most of the tests are done on your blood—usually only a vial or two is needed to perform all the tests. If you have difficulty having your blood drawn or you get lightheaded or faint after blood is taken, you might want to ask your partner to accompany you to the test. Blood tests that may be ordered include:

• complete blood count (CBC) to check your iron stores and to check for infections

• rubella titer to see if you have immunity against rubella (German measles)

• blood type to determine what your blood type is (A, B, AB or O)

• an Rh-factor test to determine if you are Rh-negative

• a blood-sugar-level test to look for diabetes

• test for varicella (chicken pox) to see if you have had this disease in the past

• test for hepatitis-B antibodies to determine whether you have ever been exposed to hepatitis-B

• screening test for syphilis (VDRL or ART)

• test for thrombophilia

• an HIV/AIDS test to see if you have been infected with the AIDS virus

It is not routine to screen all women for HIV during pregnancy. It may be offered to you; you must decide whether you should be tested. Some experts recommend all women undergo screening during pregnancy. Discuss it with your healthcare provider.

Ask your healthcare provider about a test for hypothyroidism. Researchers believe women should be tested for thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) at the beginning of pregnancy. One study showed that after 16 weeks, pregnant women who had higher-than-normal levels of TSH had 4 times the chance of having a miscarriage or stillbirth than women with normal levels.

11. Toxoplasmosis

If you have a cat, you may be concerned about toxoplasmosis. The disease is spread by eating raw, infected meat or by contact with infected cat feces. Usually an infection in the mother-to-be has no symptoms but can cross the placenta to the baby.


Drugs of Choice that Are Safe to Use


benzoyl peroxide, clindamycin, erythromycin


inhalers—beta-adrenergic antagonists, corticosteroids, cromolyn, ipratropium

Bacterial infection

cephalosporins, clindamycin, cotrimoxazole, erythromycin, nitrofurantoin, penicillin

Bipolar disorder

chlorpromazine, haloperidol


cough lozenges, dextromethorphan, diphenhydramine, codeine (short term)


fluoxetine, tricyclic antidepressants




hydralazine, methyldopa




codeine, dimenhydrinate

Nausea and vomiting

doxylamine plus pyridoxine

Peptic ulcer disease

antacids, rantidine

Infection during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage or an infected infant at birth. Toxoplasmosis in a mother-to-be can cause serious problems in her baby. Antibiotics can be used to treat toxoplasmosis, but the best plan is prevention. Sanitary measures prevent transmission of the disease.

Get someone else to change the kitty litter. Wash your hands thoroughly after petting your cat, and keep your cat off counters and tables. Wash your hands after contact with meat and soil. Cook all meat thoroughly. Avoid cross-contamination of foods while preparing and cooking them.

12. Exercise for Week 8


Sit on the floor in a comfortable position. Inhale as you raise your right arm over your head. Reach as high as you can, while stretching from the waist. Bend your elbow, and pull your arm back down to your side as you exhale. Repeat for your left side. Do 4 or 5 times on each side. Relieves upper backache and tension in shoulders, neck and back.


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