Many people wrongly assume that when they are undergoing orthodontic treatment that the frequent trips to the orthodontist are enough to keep your smile healthy. The truth of the matter is that your orthodontist is responsible for correcting the alignment of your teeth and to regularly evaluate that your teeth are moving in their ideal positions. It is your dentist who still has the sole responsibility of ensuring that your gums and teeth are healthy. In fact, it is often more important than ever for you to make sure you are visiting the dentist on a regular basis because braces can put your oral health at risk simply because flossing and brushing are quite a challenge.
Braces require brackets and wires to be put on your teeth in order to guide your teeth in their ideal positions. Yet, it is difficult to clean around these brackets and wires to make sure that your teeth are free from the particles that are left behind inside your mouth after you eat and drink. It is not uncommon for orthodontic patients to visit the dentist and find out that there is a piece of food that has been stuck behind a bracket for weeks. Anything left inside the mouth for that long will begin to rot and cause significant harm to your oral health.
Brackets and wires inside the mouth also create additional places for plaque and tartar to cling to. If not cleaned properly, plaque will collect around your brackets and wires. Once plaque hardens, it turns into dental tartar – which only a dentist can remove through a great deal of scraping.
It is also common for orthodontic patients to have their braces removed only to find that while their teeth are straight, their teeth now have tiny white spots. These white spots are evidence of decalcification – where plaque has attacked the enamel and caused the teeth to lose calcium.
Cavities and gum disease are real threats to orthodontic patients. Both of these can be avoided with diligent oral hygiene practices at home and frequent dental visits. Your dentist can help you keep your teeth as clean as possible during and after your orthodontic treatment.
If you or your child is currently wearing braces, make sure you are making regular dental visits a priority. Contact Group Health Dental today for your next appointment.