Patients receiving orthodontic treatment may wonder if it is still necessary to see their general dentist while wearing braces. The answer is a resounding “YES”! General dentists and orthodontists have experience in their own unique fields and both depend highly on each other for an excellent dental result. Visits to your general dentist are important during orthodontic treatment to ensure cavities are caught early.
Twice yearly check-ups by a general dentist are recommended to evaluate the health of the teeth, gums, and mouth. Depending on the health of your teeth and gums, as well as your oral hygiene, your dentist or orthodontist may request you be seen 2-4 times per year for a dental cleaning by a Registered Dental Hygienist. Please note, if you ever have a concern with your braces in between orthodontic visits, your general dentist can help you!
Insider Tip for Successful Exams
Hogan Family Dental recommends patients to have their orthodontic wire removed prior to seeing your general dentist whenever possible. When the arch wire is removed, your dental hygienist can easily access all of the spaces between your teeth. This is a significant advantage. In addition, the wire will not be present when taking dental x-rays, giving your dentist a better view of the entire tooth surface. This increases the opportunity for early detection of dental cavities.
Orthodontic wires and brackets often make effective brushing and flossing difficult. Patients are prone to tartar and plaque buildup because of this difficulty. In addition, metallic braces slightly increase the acidity of the mouth and may increase the risk of dental cavities. Patients who wear clear aligners are also at risk of dental cavities as the clear aligners create a moist, warm environment where bacteria readily grow.
Due to the increased risk of dental cavities while wearing braces, your dentist or orthodontist may recommend a daily fluoride rinse, paste, or gel. They may also recommend a fluoride treatment at your dental exam and cleaning appointment.
Excellent oral hygiene is critical to your success while wearing braces. Even though you are seeing the orthodontist monthly and having your teeth cleaned regularly, we see the very best results when a patient is able to effectively floss once daily and brush 2-3 times per day. No substitute exists for excellent oral hygiene care at home!
Additionally, nutrition basics are always important, especially when a patient has braces. We encourage patients to minimize consumption of sugar, carbonated beverages, sugary energy drinks, and between-meal snacks. Sticky candies, such as caramels and taffy, should be avoided to prevent damage to the braces. Sour candies, including sour patch kids, lemonheads, and sour sprays to name a few, should be avoided to prevent additional acid exposure to the teeth.
Here to Help
HFD LogoHogan Family Dental is always here to help you and your child achieve the smile you want and deserve. We hope you or your child has an excellent outcome with their future visits to both the general dentist and orthodontist. Your smile will always be our top priority!
Call Hogan Family Dental at (406) 234 – 2926 to schedule your next dental checkup appointment or email us with your questions.