Time in braces typically means frequent visits to your orthodontist. You may even be going on a monthly basis. However, don’t assume that these appointments are a substitute for your routine dental care. Your orthodontist is not your dentist. An orthodontist is trained and qualified to examine the position of your teeth and treat alignment issues. It is not his or her responsibility to check for tooth decay, treat gum disease or diagnose other oral health problems. Therefore, you’ll still need to make that appointment for a dental checkup, regardless of how many times you’ve seen your orthodontist this year.
Why Your Teeth Need Attentive Care While Wearing Braces
Not only is seeing a dentist still required during braces treatment, it becomes more important than ever before. Wearing metal brackets and wires can put your dental health at greater risk for a host of issues. This is generally due to the fact that your teeth and gums are significantly more difficult to keep clean while wearing braces.
At Marietta Dental Professionals, we can detect and treat the following common dental concerns of orthodontic patients:
- Plaque and Tartar – The presence of brackets, wires and other types of orthodontic appliances can create spaces for plaque to accumulate. Once the plaque hardens, only a professional dental cleaning can remove the stubborn buildup before it causes harm.
- Decalcification – It is not uncommon for patients to get their braces off and feel disappointed that their straight teeth are plagued with tiny white spots. These are areas of decalcification, which happens when plague attacks your enamel and depletes calcium in your teeth. Routine dental cleanings and diligent oral hygiene can prevent decalcification.
- Cavities – If you neglect to see your dentist for an exam and x-ray, you may be neglecting a small area of decay. If the cavity gets large enough, it will cause discomfort and a dental filling may be necessary. Unfortunately, your orthodontic treatment time can be extended if the filling requires that your braces be temporarily removed in the process.
- Gum Disease – If you notice that your gums look puffy and red around your braces, you may have the early onset of gum disease. Periodontal health is extremely important during orthodontic treatment. You’ll need to let your dentist clean your gums well and use a special flossing tooth that is designed for braces.
A routine dental cleaning and checkup every six months can be one of the most beneficial things you do to protect your oral health as well as your orthodontic investment. We want our patients to enjoy a healthy and brilliant smile the moment their braces come off. Call Marietta Dental Professionals today to schedule your appointment.