Do I need to go to the dentist if I have braces and am seeing an orthodontist? We hear this question all the time. The answer is yes, absolutely! Whether you’re wearing braces or aligners, we recommend that you see a dentist every six months for regular checkups. Here are just a few reasons why:
To Remove Plaque and Tartar Buildup
During orthodontic treatment, brackets and wires provide the perfect hiding places for food particles, while plastic aligners create a warm, moist environment where bacteria can grow. When debris isn’t removed during everyday brushing and flossing, plaque and tartar can form and cause cavities. A professional hygienist in your dentist’s office can remove buildup on your teeth to prevent this from happening.
To Protect Your Teeth from Decalcification
When acidic and sugary foods settle into hard-to-reach areas around brackets, bacteria can form and eventually strip away calcium and phosphates on your teeth. This process, called decalcification, results in unattractive chalky white spots, and that’s not something you want to see when your braces come off! Fluoride treatments during regular dental exams can strengthen your enamel, protecting your teeth from bacteria that cause decalcification.
To Prevent Gum Disease
Since flossing between teeth isn’t easy with braces, there’s a higher chance that bacteria will enter your gums and cause infection. During a regular dental exam, your dentist will watch for inflammation in your gums and tell you how to reverse it before it progresses.
To Keep Your Orthodontic Treatment on Track
Most likely, your orthodontist has given you an estimated time frame for how long you’ll be in braces or aligners, but gum disease or tooth decay can delay your treatment. You can stay closer to your original completion goal by receiving professional cleanings and fluoride applications that keep your teeth strong and healthy.
To Love Your Smile When You’re Finished
Remember the reason you started orthodontic treatment in the first place: to achieve a bright, beautiful smile! If you do everything you can to take care of your teeth with braces or aligners on, you’ll be thrilled with the results when you get your braces off!
We’re proud of the wonderful relationships we’ve built with many dentists in the area, so if you’re looking for a dentist to help keep your teeth clean and healthy during your orthodontic treatment, call our orthodontist in Portage MI, today. We’ll recommend one of our trusted colleagues who cares about our patients as much as we do.