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Your teeth take on greater importance during orthodontic treatment, and it’s normal to find yourself dealing with questions that you never worried about before. For instance, you may find yourself wondering is it really necessary to visit my dentist when I’m already having someone examine my teeth regularly. You may also feel like your teeth are doing great now that you have increased your focus on maintaining proper oral hygiene. While you may like cutting corners by skipping your basic dental exams, the truth is that you need to continue to see both your dentist and your orthodontist on a regular basis. To help you understand why you can read through these common questions that arise regarding how orthodontic and dental care work together. Is It Really Necessary to Visit My Dentist?
What Are the Reasons Why Should I Visit My Dentist during Treatment?
There are so many reasons why you should visit your dentist during treatment. Whether you wear braces, a retainer or Invisalign trays, your mouth still forms a biofilm that contains bacteria and acids that damage your teeth. In fact, your braces can trap food particles and tartar around the brackets and wires that are difficult to remove on your own. During your dental visits, your dentist helps to remove these materials so that you avoid issues such as cavities during your treatment.
If you find yourself wondering what are the reasons why should I visit my dentist during treatment again, then you may also want to remind yourself of how much your mouth alignment relies upon healthy teeth and gums. As plaque accumulates beneath your gum line, you become at greater risk for losing teeth. Since each tooth helps to keep the others in their place, dealing with tooth loss due to gum disease can lead to a new need for orthodontic treatment in the future.
Is It Really Necessary to Visit My Dentist?
It helps to understand how your dentist and orthodontist each perform different services on your teeth. During your orthodontic visits, the doctor checks your teeth and bite alignment to see how your treatment is progressing. They may also perform services such as precise adjustments on your metal braces or determine if you need to change to a new aligner tray. While your orthodontist may notice an issue such as an obviously broken tooth or severe decay and advise you to see your dentist, they are typically not looking for early signs of decay such as dentists watch for on x-rays.
What Are Signs of a Problem with My Teeth?
Naturally, you also need to know the answer to your question of when should I visit my dentist. As a general rule, you need to go to the dentist whenever you have a problem with your teeth that are not directly related to your orthodontic care. For instance, you can always call your orthodontic office for advice on how to cope with post-adjustment soreness or if you have a wire that starts irritating your inner cheek. However, you would need to call your dentist if you noticed issues with your teeth such as lost filling or broken tooth crown.
When Should I Visit My Dentist?
If your teeth and gums are healthy, then you may only need to visit your dentist every six months for a routine checkup or cleaning. However, some people need to go to the dentist more often to take care of oral health issues such as gum disease. Your orthodontist may also recommend that you go for dental cleanings more often than every six months if you tend to have a large amount of plaque accumulation in your mouth or if you struggle with oral hygiene due to other issues such as a lack of hand mobility.
Since there can be a vast difference between people’s recommended cleaning and examination schedules, it’s best to ask your care providers for a recommendation on how often you need to go to the dentist.
What Happens If I Miss an Appointment?
Life happens. Sometimes you just get busy or sick and cannot make an appointment. When this type of problem happens, just reschedule your appointment for your next available free block of time. In most cases, it is not recommended to just wait until your next three or six-month appointment because a lot can happen during that short period of time when you are undergoing orthodontic treatment.
Does My Orthodontist Need to Know If I Go to the Dentist?
Orthodontists and dentists can work together to give you a comprehensive plan that addresses each one of your oral health needs. While you don’t necessarily need to tell your orthodontist about routine exams and cleanings, you do need to communicate if something is found that needs treatment. For instance, your dentist may notice a small cavity starting to develop and your orthodontist can help to watch it making sure that it does not get worse if filling it would affect your treatment. Alternatively, your dentist may need to work with your orthodontist if a tooth becomes injured in an accident that also has braces attached. Keep in mind that these types of things sometimes happen, and both of your oral care providers are professionals who know what to do to preserve your oral health.
How Can I Take Care of My Teeth between Orthodontic and Dental Visits?
Your ability to take care to your teeth can reduce the frequency of your dental visits simply because you won’t need those extra cleanings or a filling if you brush and floss regularly. During your oral health visits, speak up if you are unsure of how to brush properly around your braces. Then, make sure to carry your hygiene supplies with you to school or work so that you always have an easy way to take care of your teeth.
When you consider the act that your orthodontic treatment can take anywhere from a few months to a year or more, you can count on having to go to the dentist at least once or more during that time. For more answers to your questions, give our office a call. We’re always here to help you find the answers to your questions as you work on achieving a more perfect smile.
Why Should I Visit the Dentist during My Treatment?
13046 Falcon Drive Baxter, MN 56425
Dr. Michael McDermott earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in both Chemistry and Biology from St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN. He followed his undergraduate degrees with a doctorate in dental surgery at the University of Minnesota, where he graduated with highest distinction.
Dr. Mike then furthered his dental education by earning a masters and certificate in Orthodontics at the University of St. Louis in Missouri.