If you or your child is receiving treatment from an orthodontist, you’re probably visiting their office quite a bit so that they can ensure your care is proceeding normally. But do you need to continue seeing your regular dentist too? Absolutely! Here are some reasons why you should still see a family dentist:
- Seeing your regular dentist is necessary to keep your teeth clean. Every day, saliva and the sugar from your food and drink combine to form plaque, which sticks to your teeth. If you are brushing and flossing properly, you should be able to remove most of it. Otherwise, the plaque can turn into tartar, a hard substance that can only be taken off by a dentist with special instruments. Tartar that is not removed by regular visits to the dentist can cause gum inflammation or serious gum infection. Every six months, you should go to your dentist to ensure that plaque and tartar are tended to. If you don’t, your orthodontic care can take a longer period of time than what was first estimated.
- Your dentist will likely be the one to notice that there’s an issue with spacing or with your bite. If you see your dentist often and take your children to see a dentist, then you’ll have a heads-up about your possible future need for an orthodontist. Kids should see an orthodontist by age 7, but it’s important that you continue to see your regular dentist, who may notice that your spacing is becoming uneven, or that your child’s jaw isn’t wide enough to allow adult teeth to descend.
- Cleaning Your Teeth Properly While Wearing Metal Braces Can Be Difficult. If you’re wearing braces, the bracket, bands, and archwires can make it difficult to keep your teeth clean every day. If you have a problem with your bite that creates a problem for proper dental care, it won’t be fixed until your orthodontic treatment is completed. Remember, your orthodontist is a dentist, but is not a dentist who cleans your teeth. Continue to see your regular dentist so that you’ll be able to keep up with your dental health.
If you would like to schedule a cleaning appointment with your family dentist, let them know that you are wearing braces. They may ask you to return every three months for additional cleanings, or they could suggest certain products or treatments that will keep your smile beautiful—before, during, and after you wear braces.
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