Do dental braces pose a higher risk for endocarditis in one who has had VSD repair?

For someone who has had an open heart surgery to fix multiple VSDs (birth defect), is it ok to get dental braces? Or is the risk for endocarditis too high?

Submitted by Maryam from Pakistan on 02/16/2014

by Paolo Angelini, MD

The history of prior cardiac surgery (if successful as indicated by the absence of residual heart murmurs) is not a contraindication, per se, for dental braces. What is essential is quick treatment with antibiotics as soon as any signs and symptoms of a dental abscess or gingivitis is recognized. After 1 year postop, the danger of infection of the heart valves does not increase when compared to kids born with normal hearts.