If you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment, you might think that you can skip going to the dentist. However, orthodontists and dentists provide different services.
Your orthodontist is specially trained to diagnose and treat bite and alignment issues. On the other hand, your dentist manages your overall dental health by cleaning your teeth, filling cavities, and more.
Your dentist and orthodontist work as a team, and you need to see both. Learn about the importance of seeing a dentist during orthodontic treatment. Also, find out how often you need to go.
Importance of Seeing a Dentist During Orthodontic Treatment
Your orthodontist likely gave you some tips for cleaning your teeth when wearing braces. The tips definitely help, but you could still have food and bacteria hiding in your mouth. After all, braces give food plenty of places to hide, so it makes sense that you might miss something from time to time.
By seeing a dentist during orthodontic treatment, you’ll get professional cleanings to remove plaque, tartar, and bacteria. This does two things. First, it reduces your risk of getting cavities. Second, and more importantly, it lowers the risk of developing gum disease. Gum disease causes a wealth of problems, including tooth loss. With regular dental cleanings, you’ll stay on top of a plaque that can lead to the condition.
You know that you want to avoid gum disease and cavities because they affect your oral health. Plus, they hurt your bank account due to expensive treatment. However, you might not realize that these dental problems can also impact your orthodontic treatment.
Let’s look at why cavities and gum disease are major concerns during orthodontic treatment.
Dentists Have Harder Time Filling Cavities With Braces
First, if you develop a cavity, the dentist will have to fill it. Normally, filling cavities is a quick and easy process at the dentist’s office, but it’s complicated if you wear braces. In fact, your Westchester, NY, orthodontist might have to remove some brackets so the dentist can fill the cavity.
That means instead of getting in and out of the dentist’s office quickly, you’ll have to make two appointments to get a filling. Then, you’ll end up back at the orthodontist to get your brackets reattached. You can avoid this by seeing a dentist during orthodontic treatment. Then, instead of going through the trouble of filling cavities, your dentist will help you prevent decay.
Gum Disease Can Derail Orthodontic Treatment
Second, gum disease makes it much harder to complete orthodontic treatment successfully. Braces, Invisalign, and other treatments are used to move teeth into the desired position. When this happens, your body forms new bone and ligament tissue. Without the newly formed tissue, your teeth won’t remain in their new position. Unfortunately, gum disease impacts new tissue growth, meaning your teeth will shift if you have untreated gum disease.
You might think this won’t happen to you because you take such good care of your teeth. However, your risk of gingivitis and periodontal disease goes up when wearing braces. That’s because it’s harder to reach all the nooks and crannies.
Fortunately, seeing a dentist during orthodontic treatment can help you prevent this from happening. Then, your orthodontic treatment will be a success.
Seeing a Dentist During Orthodontic Treatment for Stains
No matter how thoroughly you brush your teeth, you’re likely to leave some debris behind. That will eventually turn into plaque, creating white, brown, or yellow spots. Then, when your orthodontist takes your braces off, your teeth might not match. You won’t have nearly as much fun showing off your new smile if your teeth are multi-colored.
Fortunately, going to the dentist is an easy way to avoid this problem. Your dentist will thoroughly remove the plaque before it discolors your teeth and causes decay. Then, you’ll be ready to flash your straight and pearly whites after completing treatment.
Do You Need to See the Dentist With Invisalign?
If you have Invisalign, you might think that’s a free pass to avoid going to the dentist. After all, you can remove the clear aligners when cleaning your teeth. Thus, you don’t have to worry about plaque building up around the brackets.
Still, you need to keep up with your regular dental appointments. Bacteria can thrive in the warm, wet environment that’s underneath the aligners. Without proper care, you can end up with gingivitis, cavities, tooth discoloration, and other problems. Plus, you can get bad breath, which you want to avoid at all costs.
You can avoid these problems in two ways. First, you need to keep up with your personal oral hygiene routine. Second, you need to visit the dentist regularly. Your dentist will remove the bacteria that you missed, ensuring that your teeth are in tip-top condition. Thus, seeing a dentist during orthodontic treatment is a must.
How Often Should You Be Seeing a Dentist During Orthodontic Treatment?
Most people need to go to the dentist every six months. This allows the dentist to address plaque buildup and other problems before they become serious issues. However, you might need to go more often if you have periodontal disease or other problems.
The American Dental Association recommends that patients consult with their providers to determine the schedule. Let your dentist know that you’re getting orthodontic care and ask how often you should come in for cleanings. Your dentist will evaluate your mouth and review your history. Then, you’ll find out how often you should be seeing a dentist during orthodontic treatment.
Learn More About Orthodontics and Dental Treatment
Dr. Barry Glaser of Glaser Orthodontics will partner with your dentist during treatment. By working together, you can get a straight smile while maintaining healthy teeth. First, call Glaser Orthodontics at (914) 353-4823 to schedule a consultation at our Cortlandt Manor, NY, office. Then, we can discuss your orthodontic treatment and how your dentist will play a vital role in its success.