Patients who wear braces likely are visiting the orthodontist every few weeks for adjustments. As such, they may feel that routine dental appointments are not necessary during their orthodontic treatment, but that conclusion is incorrect. Dental checkups and cleanings are just as important while you have your braces, and maybe even more so.
An orthodontist will focus specifically on the treatment necessary to reposition your teeth, while a general dentist will take a broader view of your smile, looking for signs of issues like decay or gum disease.
Most oral diseases will respond to non-invasive interventions if they’re caught early, so delaying your exams throughout your orthodontic treatment may lead to significant oral health issues and create the need for more invasive treatments. If decay or gum disease is quite advanced and treatment becomes urgent, it can interfere with your orthodontic treatment and lengthen your time spent in braces.
Furthermore, braces make it more difficult for patients to brush and floss thoroughly, and plaque and tartar may be more likely to accumulate in orthodontic patients as a result. The professional cleaning that you receive at appointments with your dentist is thorough and can be tremendously helpful in limiting plaque and tartar during this time.
Additionally, the hygienist who is cleaning your teeth can use specialized instruments to remove even more plaque and tartar than you can through brushing and flossing alone. The hygienist can also clean (very carefully!) along the edges of the brackets to remove any debris or other substances that have collected there.
When you wear braces, you are taking an important step toward maintaining a healthy and beautiful smile, but don’t fall victim to the misconception that orthodontic treatment is a substitute for general dental checkups. Doing so may compromise your oral health. In order to keep your smile as healthy as possible while you’re improving its appearance, be sure to continue to visit our office at least every six months for an exam and cleaning.
Call us at the office of Dr. Kozlow to schedule your next cleaning appointment!