It’s easy to understand why patients who wear braces might reach the conclusion that they don’t need to have routine dental exams during their orthodontic treatment. After all, they’re probably seeing the dentist at least every few months for adjustments of the appliances or monitoring of progress with the Invisalign system. Why are additional trips to the office necessary?
In reality, however, you still need semi-annual exams and cleanings to maintain your oral health throughout orthodontic treatment. In fact, this preventive care becomes even more important when you’re wearing braces because the brackets can easily trap food and bacteria close to the teeth where they can do harm. It’s also very challenging for the patient to clean the teeth thoroughly while braces are on the teeth, as the brackets and wires limit the patient’s ability to access all of the teeth’s surfaces as well as the gumline.
…you still need semi-annual exams and cleanings to maintain your oral health throughout orthodontic treatment.
The dental hygienist can use specialized instruments to clean the surfaces of the teeth that are hard for you to reach. The hygienist also has better angles to clean in the area right around the brackets, which can be a danger zone for collecting bacteria.
Even if you’re using Invisalign to straighten your teeth, you should still get professional cleanings every six months to eliminate any plaque and tartar that have accumulated despite your efforts to keep them at bay by brushing and flossing.
You can also develop oral diseases like tooth decay and gum disease while you are undergoing orthodontic treatment, so it’s important to see your dentist at least twice a year to be monitored for signs of these issues. Smaller cavities and early-stage gum disease can be treated with non-invasive techniques. Furthermore, you are also screened for oral cancer at these appointments, and that can actually be a life-saving service, as oral cancer’s prognosis is much better when it is diagnosed and treated before it spreads to other tissues.
You do still need to get your routine dental check-ups while you are wearing braces. If you’ve fallen out of this habit since getting your braces, then contact our office to schedule an appointment and get back on track.