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As an expectant or new mother, one of the biggest questions weighing on your mind is can I continue breastfeeding while wearing braces. Naturally, women who are lactating must pay careful attention to what they put into and on their bodies since many types of chemicals can enter breast milk. While you need to continue to abstain from things such as alcohol and certain medications while you are nursing, you can rest assured that braces do not have any adverse effects on your ability to breastfeed your baby. Whether you currently have braces or are looking to get orthodontic care in the near future, you can use this guide to understand how to straighten your teeth safely while you nurture your baby’s development.
Why Is Breastfeeding Important for Babies?
Today, new moms have many options for feeding their babies. While some moms supplement with formula, others prefer to breastfeed only. You may also choose to breastfeed for just a few months or for the first several years of your child’s life. Although there is no right or wrong way to feed your baby, research has shown that there are many benefits of breastfeeding. Breast milk contains all of the nutrients that your baby needs to grow, and even the first milk, called colostrum, contains special substances that help to build your baby’s immune system.
With breastfeeding, there is also a natural tendency to allow your baby to eat until they are full rather than measuring their feedings in ounces. This helps your baby learn how to satisfy their hunger so that they are less likely to experience problems eating later in life. The natural sucking method that they use also helps to stimulate their oral development and prevent issues such as thumb sucking that could affect your baby’s teeth later as they grow.
Throughout the time that you are breastfeeding, the milk changes to give your baby the nutrients it needs through each stage in life. It is also believed that babies who are breastfed enjoy a few advantages over those who are only given formula. For instance, breastfed babies tend to be able to learn better later in life and they are less likely to be overweight.
What Are the Benefits of Breastfeeding to the Mothers?
Your baby’s health and happiness are more important than anything else. However, new moms also sometimes wonder what the benefits of breastfeeding to mothers are. For most new moms, one of the most amazing parts of breastfeeding is the bond that develops between the mother and their child. As you breastfeed, your body releases special hormones that stimulate lactation. One of these hormones, called oxytocin, is known as the “feel good” hormone. It promotes a sense of wellbeing for both you and your baby, and it can also have a protective effect in the prevention of postpartum depression.
Breastfeeding also burns calories, and you may notice that you get hungry while you are nursing or shortly after. This is a natural effect and moms who breastfeed often find that they are able to get back to a healthier weight faster due to the calories that are burned. You will also be more motivated to stay on track with your healthy diet when you know that all of those nutrients you consume go toward making nurturing breast milk for your baby.
When Is the Best Time to Get Braces?
With so much going on in your life, you may also be curious about when the best time to seek orthodontic treatment will be. Whether you are pregnant or currently nursing, the truth is that it is always better to get braces now than to wait. Over the next few years, your life will get busier. Just imagine trying to take an active toddler or preschooler with you to your orthodontic appointments. Right now, your baby is happy to snuggle in your arms while you go to an appointment or they’ll sleep soundly with a babysitter. Either way, the choice to get braces as soon as possible allows you to begin to enjoy the benefits of having straighter teeth faster.
Will an Orthodontist Treat Me While I’m Pregnant or Lactating?
Orthodontists know the answers to the question of why is breastfeeding important, and you should choose an orthodontic practitioner that understands why your choice to take care of your baby and your oral health matters for your family’s future. When you schedule your appointment, just let the staff know that you are currently pregnant or breastfeeding. This just helps your orthodontist to take special care to keep you comfortable during your exams, and breastfeeding moms should always alert their care providers so that they can be cautious if they prescribe any medication.
What Types of Braces Are Best for Lactating Mothers?
The good news is that all types of braces are safe for lactating mothers, which means that you can explore all of the options that are available to fit your needs. Both traditional braces and Invisalign aligners do not contain any chemicals that can affect your breast milk. You can also wear retainers and other orthodontic appliances without having to worry about causing harm to your little one.
How Can I Continue Breastfeeding While Wearing Braces?
As with any orthodontic care, you may need to take a few steps to make sure that you are able to eat comfortably and still get the proper nutrition you need to make breast milk. With removable braces, you can simply take out the trays when you need to eat. Just make sure that you put them back in after you finish your meals. Although traditional braces do require you to avoid hard foods such as carrot sticks, you can still enjoy the same level of nutrition by softening your vegetables before you eat.
Your decision to breastfeed is one of the most important ones that you can make for your family. Now that you understand how braces can be safely worn while breastfeeding, reach out to our office so that we can get you set up with a treatment plan that fits your lifestyle.
2002 Richard Jones Road
Nashville, TN 37215
Phone: 615 269 5903
Does [Wearing Braces] Affect Lactating Mothers?
Dr. Joel Gluck has practiced orthodontics since 1983 when he opened his own office in Nashville. He earned his undergraduate degree at Washington University in St. Louis, and his dental degree at the University of Tennessee. Dr. Gluck then completed an orthodontic specialty residency at the University of Michigan, one of the top five orthodontic training residencies in the country. He also wrote an original thesis and received a Master of Science degree.