Do I Need to See the Dentist if I Have Braces?

When you see an orthodontist, you’ll be under the supervision of a highly qualified medical expert who will ensure your smile ends up looking amazing. But while your teeth are being moved to their final positions with braces, you will also need to stay on top of your normal oral health. The best way to make sure your teeth are in the best condition at the end of your orthodontic treatment is to see your dentist regularly while you have braces.

Why Should I See My Dentist While I Have Braces?

While your orthodontist has a degree in dentistry in addition to orthodontic training, you should still make regular trips to the dental office during your orthodontic treatment. Your orthodontist is focused on making sure your teeth are moving in the right direction rather than the cleanliness of your teeth.

Dental visits are crucial while you have braces because orthodontic treatment actually increases your risk of plaque and tartar buildup. The brackets and wires make cleaning your teeth more difficult and they also trap food more easily. This, in turn, makes you vulnerable to tooth decay. So while it’s always a good idea to visit the dentist on a regular basis, it’s even more important to do so while you have braces.

You’re not off the hook if you have Invisalign. Having aligners you can remove for eating and cleaning obviously eliminates the problem of food getting trapped more easily and the increased difficulty of cleaning. However, the clear aligners cover the whole surface of the teeth, creating an ideal environment for bacteria to grow.

How Often Should I Visit the Dentist with Braces?

When you’re not in orthodontic treatment, you should visit the dentist for a cleaning twice a year. Due to the increased risk of tooth decay with braces, you may want to visit the dentist three times per year. This will allow your dentist to clean areas that are hard for you to reach and spot trouble before it gets worse.

While all of this talk about how orthodontic treatment makes you more vulnerable to tooth decay may make you a bit apprehensive about getting braces, rest assured that you can keep your teeth in excellent condition if you take the right steps. In addition to visiting the dentist regularly, you should also be brushing after every meal and flossing once per day so your teeth stay clean and bright while you improve your smile. Plus, between having the care of your orthodontist and your dentist on your side, you can have confidence your teeth will be treated well.

Schedule a free consultation at Smith Orthodontics today to see if orthodontic treatment could be right for you and to have your questions about caring for your teeth with braces answered.