VISITING YOUR DENTIST WHILST UNDERGOING ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT
Updated: Aug 12
Why it is so important to visit your general dentist regularly whilst receiving orthodontic treatment?
In the spirit of Dental Week (6 – 12 August) which highlights the importance of and encourages proper dental and oral healthcare, Victoria Park Dental Specialists in Adelaide discuss the question: “Should you continue regularly visiting your general dentist when undergoing orthodontic treatment?”
For many, a visit to the dentist is always postponed until they absolutely have to go. This means that their teeth go unchecked and untreated for a long time which can result in dental problems.
Regular visits to your general dental practitioner will help you keep your teeth clean and mouth healthy. The many different types of dental professionals (paediatric dentists, orthodontists, prosthodontists, etc.) each specialise in certain dental areas and will help remedy specific problems you may experience however, your general dentist will help you continuously care for your teeth and mouth. This is probably the most important reason to continue seeing your general dentist even when receiving treatment from a dental specialist.
Orthodontics is one of the most common forms of specialised dental treatments patients undergo and refers to treatments aimed at straightening teeth and correcting bites and misaligned jaws. To do this, orthodontists use a variety of methods and dental prosthetics such as metal braces, clear aligners, lingual braces, palatal expanders, etc.
Patients who undergo orthodontic treatment will be required to visit their orthodontist on a regular basis for check-ups and adjustments to their prosthesis. Due to this, many people believe that visiting their regular dentists during this time is unnecessary and choose to only visit their orthodontist.
However, regular general dental visits are an important aspect of your overall healthcare. Taking care of your teeth and mouth means taking care of your general health and well-being and should not be underestimated.
Dental and oral care begins at home which includes brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day, using a quality mouthwash regularly, and making sure you follow a teeth-friendly diet (avoiding sugary foods and drinks which can erode your teeth’s natural enamel). Your normal daily oral hygiene will be affected and possibly more difficult if you have braces, if you are concerned or want advice on how to clean your teeth, make sure you ask your orthodontist at Victoria Park!
However, despite all your care, your teeth and mouth can still experience problems either due to injury or genetics (if not from poor care). This is why orthodontists advise patients to continue visiting their general dentists regularly; it can help you avoid problems you didn’t even know you had or prevent them before they get worse.
Dentists will also be able to advise you on proper home care, so you can keep your teeth clean and sparkling between visits.
6 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT YOUR REGULAR DENTIST WHILST UNDERGOING ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT
Orthodontists understand the importance of visiting a general dentist regularly and therefore advise and encourage their patients to do so, especially when undergoing orthodontic treatments such as having braces. There are six vital reasons why this is advised making it as important as keeping your orthodontic appointments:
A Thorough Cleaning: Your brushing and flossing (although very important) may miss certain spots or won’t be enough to completely clean away plaque or tartar build up. These professional cleanings become even more important when you have braces. Having braces will make cleaning at home more difficult since plaque and tartar have more places to hide (and navigating your braces for cleaning can be frustrating and difficult). Your general dentist will use the proper tools to effectively clean away any plaque and tartar that you may have missed resulting in clean and healthy teeth. Even if you use clear aligners, these professional cleanings by your dentist will play an important role in keeping your teeth and mouth healthy and clean.
Prevent Decalcification: This is the loss of calcium in your teeth and occurs when patients consume too much sugary sweets and drinks or acidic foods. Decalcification can lead to cavities and ultimately the loss of teeth, but regular dental visits can help prevent this irreversible issue.
Gum Care: Your gums can become infected in the blink of an eye. Tartar build-up can cause diseases to your mouth which can spread to your gums. Gum disease (gingivitis) can be painful, unpleasant, and can erode the gums, cause tooth loss, and prolong your treatment time. Your dentist will help prevent gum disease before it gets worse (provided your visits are regular and your dentist can pick it up before the damage happens).
Avoid Cavities: Cavities are not good for anyone, especially those undergoing orthodontic treatment since they can prolong your treatment. To avoid delays in your treatment, you should visit your general dentist regularly to receive fluoride (and other) treatments to help strengthen your teeth and avoid cavities.
Oral Cancer Screening: Health professionals agree that the early detection of cancer can greatly improve your chances of successfully beating it. During your examination, your dentist will not only examine your teeth and mouth, but the surrounding areas (neck, face, and jaw) as well. If any abnormalities are found, further tests will be conducted to check for cancer, making regular dental check-ups very important.
X-rays: Dentists perform x-rays to help them give you a more thorough examination. X-rays will help identify a number of problems such as compacted teeth, bone decay, swelling, cysts, tumours, etc. which are invisible to the naked eye and can affect your orthodontic treatment.
REGULAR DENTAL CARE
Poor oral hygiene, especially when receiving orthodontic treatment, can lead to complications and a prolonged treatment. Orthodontists will recommend you continue your regular visit to your dentist to help keep your teeth clean and healthy so that they look their best when your braces eventually come off giving you a brilliant and happy smile.
Visiting Victoria Park Dental Specialists in Adelaide will help you keep your teeth clean and healthy throughout your orthodontic treatment, whether it’s braces or clear aligners, so you enjoy a stunning smile when the treatment is over.