Visiting your dentist during orthodontic treatment might seem like something additional to organise and coordinate, but it’s an essential part of caring for your teeth. You might think that one tooth doctor is the same as another, but your orthodontist specialises in correcting alignment of teeth, bites and occlusion (the contact between teeth). There are several important reasons to visit your dentist during your orthodontic treatment.
Keep Up Your Oral Hygiene
Firstly, your general dentist looks after your overall
oral health. They will check your teeth for cavities, perform regular cleans of
your teeth and gums and will give advice on the best way for you to care for
Keeping your teeth and gums clean is always important,
and when you have braces or other orthodontic appliances fitted, you might need
to change your oral hygiene routine, by spending more time cleaning your teeth.
It can be useful to have a few extra tools to help you get in between wires and brackets so you can get to those hard-to-reach places when cleaning your teeth.
Dentists can remove plaque
Your dentist can also help you to keep your teeth clean
while you’re wearing your braces.
In fact, your dentist or dental hygienist can give you a
professional clean to remove built-up plaque.
Your orthodontist uses your
appointments to check your braces, make adjustments and monitor the movement of
Your dentist will check the health of your teeth and
gums and will clean and check for cavities.
Cleaning and polishing your
teeth will prevent
plaque from building up and turning into tartar.
This is even more important when you have braces because
plaque and tartar can form around the braces and lead to cavities or
Having braces provides additional
nooks and crannies which food particles and bacteria can hide in.
Eventually, plaque can form around your brackets, bands
or other appliances which can lead to cavities or gingivitis.
But having your teeth professionally cleaned can help ensure most, if not all, plaque is removed. Even if you’re using Invisalign® aligners instead of regular braces dental check-ups and cleaning are equally as important.
Dentists can help prevent decalcification
Your dentist can help protect your teeth from decalcification, or the loss of calcium in your teeth.
Image Credit David Dewitt
It’s a potentially serious condition in which white
spots develop on your tooth surfaces, which are permanent.
If decalcification is left untreated, it can lead to cavities.
Get Advice from Your Dentist
Whenever you make an appointment to see your dentist,
it’s a great way to get professional advice about looking after your teeth.
Not only that, the dental team can provide you with
advice that’s personalised for your needs.
Some people find that plaque and tartar builds up faster for them compared to others, and your dentist can offer you advice about why this might be happening and how you can change your habits to stop it.
Your dentist can help you to prevent your teeth staining
and give you advice about how to prevent teeth discolouring.
Although you might think that you’re taking care of your
teeth well, you might not be aware of your cleaning habits and if you missed
Advice from your dentist can ensure you’re brushing and flossing properly, using the right toothbrush and other tools, and using the best toothpaste for your individual needs.
Prevent Oral Health Problems
When you’re wearing braces, you want to do your best
with your oral health being careful not to develop a cavity or any other dental
If you have any dental
issues it could delay
the progress of your orthodontic treatment.
When you see your dentist they can pick up on early signs of tooth decay and any problems before they develop into larger issues.
Finding these things early mean they can be dealt with
in the easiest way, such as removing small amounts of decay and putting
You will want to avoid more complicated work, such as root canals and tooth extractions, which could make it difficult to stick to the original treatment plan for your orthodontics.
Decalcification happens when a loss of calcium in your
This can create white and chalky spots, that are hard to
remove and can be permanent.
Decalcification happens when plaque stays on your teeth
for a long time and isn’t addressed. When you have braces, the wires and
brackets can make it more difficult to remove plaque with basic brushing.
This is why correct cleaning technique is so imperative
during orthodontic treatment.
This means that the risk of decalcification is higher for people who have braces, especially between the gums and brackets where it’s difficult to remove plaque.
Once decalcification occurs, it can’t be reversed and
can cause cavities without treatment.
Decalcification is preventable if you take care of your
oral health during orthodontic treatment.
Your dentist can help you to prevent decalcification by ensuring your teeth stay clean and prevent the build-up of plaque in hard-to-reach places by having regular check-ups and cleans.
How often should you visit the dentist during orthodontic treatment?
If you want to complete your orthodontic treatment on
time and without any delays, visiting your dentist every six months or as
recommended can go a long way toward making that a realistic goal.
Your dentist can provide fluoride treatments or other treatments that strengthen your teeth and protect them from cavities.
Regular visits to your dentist during your orthodontic treatment will keep your teeth healthy, and prevent a range of potential problems.
Be sure to keep up your dentist appointments to maintain your oral health.