For patients undergoing orthodontic treatment, it can be easy to assume that your frequent trips to the orthodontist are enough to keep your oral health in check. However, it is essential that you realize that your routine dental visits must be kept on the calendar, even if you are seeing your orthodontist on a bi-monthly basis. Your orthodontist has the responsibility of making sure your teeth are moving in ideal position. Your dentist, however, will take on the job on making sure your gums and teeth are healthy during the process. Attending your dental visits is in fact even more important if you have braces. Braces can put your oral health at risk primarily due to the fact that brushing and flossing becomes a challenge.
With a mouth full of brackets and wires, it can be difficult to ward off the following oral health concerns, making that trip to the dentist even more important:
- Plaque and Tartar – Braces or other appliances often create additional spaces where food particles and bacteria can collect. If not cleaned properly, plaque accumulates around your brackets and bands. Once plague hardens, only a professional dental cleaning can remove this stubborn buildup.
- Decalcification – It is very common for patients to have their braces taken off, only to find that their teeth are plagued with tiny white spots. These white areas are evidence of decalcification, which occurs when plague attacks the enamel and the teeth lose calcium. Fortunately, these white spots are preventable with proper hygiene and dental checkups.
- Cavities – The last thing you want to do while in braces is lengthen your orthodontic treatment time. This can happen if you can a cavity that requires your bracket or band to be removed while your dentist repairs it.
- Gum Disease – Do your gums look puffy and red? This is an indication that your gum health is threatened. While gingivitis is a common concern for many braces wearers, it can be avoided with diligent oral hygiene and with your dentist’s help. Remember that untreated gum disease can lead to serious health concerns, both in your mouth and your body.
If you or your child is currently wearing braces, you’ve made a significant investment. At Red Oak Family Dentistry, we want to ensure that your investment is protected and that your smile straightening efforts don’t compromise your oral health. When your braces come off, you deserve to see an attractive smile and a healthy smile!
Red Oak Family Dentistry
McKinney, TX 75071