When you are going through orthodontic treatment, you will be visiting your orthodontist every now and then, so you might be wondering if you still need to go to your regular dentist. The answer is yes, and we will explain why.
Do I Still Need A Dental Checkup Even With Braces?
Believe it or not, it can actually be more important to visit your regular dentist for routine cleanings and hygiene appointments while receiving orthodontic treatment.
With braces, you are more likely to have food trapped in your wires and brackets and it can be more difficult to brush and floss your teeth effectively. Because of this, bacteria can build up quickly and lead to cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease that can be caught early and treated by your dentist.
Why Your Dentists Is Important During Orthodontic Treatment
Think of your dentist as your primary care physician. It is their responsibility to help you maintain a healthy and clean mouth as well as identify any problems that might be developing.
There’s a good chance that your dentist recommended you seek out orthodontic treatment in the first place, so it’s also their job to refer you to any other specialists that you may need.
Your dentist and hygienist will conduct thorough exams of your mouth (including teeth, jaw, gums), professional cleanings, and any fillings you may need for cavities you may develop.
Why Preventive Hygiene & Cleanings Remain Important
Getting braces is the farthest thing from an excuse to miss your regular dental appointments. Here are reasons to continue with your routine hygiene cleanings:
- Regular hygiene cleanings are even more valuable if you wear braces. Food can easily get trapped in your braces and be tough to remove because your toothbrush can't reach every nook, and flossing can be challenging when brackets and wire are in the way.
- Not being able to floss effectively can make your teeth more vulnerable to plaque, tartar buildup, and cavities. If deposits linger on tooth surfaces, they become food for harmful acids. These acids attack and erode the enamel.
- Even if you regularly brush and floss using tools your orthodontist recommended, chances are there will still be debris left in or around your appliance. It can be challenging to see them with your braces blocking your view.
- Without regular hygiene cleanings, tartar buildup can make your teeth unsightly once it’s time to remove your braces. While your dentist may be able to fix this, it’s better to prevent it from happening in the first place.
- Developing decay or cavities can also prolong your orthodontic treatments. Your dentist and dental hygienist make sure to provide you with the care you need without affecting your braces. This is why it’s important to continue with your regular dental visits.
The Risk Of Cavities With Braces
With braces, you will have brackets and wires that can trap food around your teeth causing the formation of bacteria that can lead to plaque buildup. These appliances also make at-home oral care a little more challenging to properly brush and floss, so it’s important to follow our recommendations for proper oral hygiene with braces.
With Invisalign, your clear aligners don't feature the same metal wires that can cause food to be trapped, but you are still not off the hook for routine dental appointments. clear aligners are working every day and can still food and bacteria. if you don't adhere to the strict oral hygiene regiment, it can lead to several oral health issues such as:
- Bad Breath
- Tooth Discoloration
- Tooth Pain/Sensitivity
While your orthodontist looks at your gums and teeth during treatment visits, it is essential to visit your general dentist on a routine basis for continuing care.
How often should I see my dentist?
Our Smiletown Orthodontists recommend visiting your regular dentist at least 2 times per year for routine cleanings. This being said, that number may change depending on the health of your teeth and gums.
There's really nothing different that you have to do to prepare for your dental appointment. Just be prepared to spend a little extra time in the dental chair because your dentist will have to take extra care not to damage your braces.
Some dentists take out wires before cleaning, while some work around them. Let your dentist know that you’re coming in with braces, so they can note it in your chart and save more time for your appointment.
Choose An Orthodontist That Works With Your Dentist
When you are choosing an orthodontist, ask them how they communicate with your current dentist. At Smiletown Orthodontics, we work closely with your dentist to make sure you have the best oral health possible. Please contact our office with any additional questions and we look forward to seeing you soon!