Do I Still Need To See My Regular Dentist During Ortho Treatment?

February 3, 2018

Most teens and adults with braces ask this question of their Utah orthodontist at one time or another during treatment. The short answer is, absolutely yes, you need to see your regular dentist during the entire time you are wearing braces, invisible aligners like Invisalign or receiving any other type of orthodontic treatment. Even though your orthodontist is checking your teeth regularly, they are most concerned with the movement of your teeth into your corrected and perfect smile. Seeing your dentist regularly will help you fight the plaque and tartar that can accumulate around your braces.

Why See A Dentist When You Have Braces?

Similar to medical specialists as they relate to your primary care physician, your dentist is your primary oral health provider during your orthodontic treatment. As your dentist, it is his or her responsibility to help you maintain clean and healthy teeth as well as identify any challenges that you have with your teeth. It was probably your family dentist that recommended that you seek out orthodontic treatment in the first place. It’s also his or her job to refer you to any other specialists that you may need, depending on your individual situation. Your general dentist and their hygienist will be the ones to provide you with thorough exams of your mouth (including teeth, jaw, gums), professional cleanings, and any fillings you may need for cavities you may acquire. The experts at Utah Orthodontic Care recommend that patients see their regular dentists once every three or four months for a cleaning and check-up because it is much more difficult to keep your mouth clean with braces in place.

Risks Of Cavities With Braces

Whether you have metal or ceramic braces, or you’re receiving Invisalign treatment, you need to include regular visits to the dentist in your oral health regimen. With braces you will have brackets and wires that make it easier for food to get caught in and around your teeth causing the formation of bacteria that can lead to plaque build up. These appliances also can hinder your ability to give yourself adequate oral care at home with regular brushing and flossing, so it’s important to keep up with your these daily oral hygiene steps as well.

If you are using clear aligners, you are still not off the hook for going to to your regular dentist. Clear aligners that you wear almost all day every day can create a warm, moist environment around your teeth that is ideal for growing bacteria. If you do not follow your prescribed oral hygiene regimen, several conditions could arise including:

  • Gingivitis
  • Bad Breath
  • Tooth Pain/Sensitivity
  • Tooth Discoloration
  • Cavities

While your orthodontist looks at your gums and teeth during treatment visits, it is essential and routinely part of your orthodontic guidelines to visit your general dentist on a routine basis for continuing care.

Choose An Orthodontist Who Works With Your Dentist

When you are choosing an orthodontist, ask them how they communicate with your current dentist. At Utah Orthodontic Care, our doctors work closely with your family general dentist to make sure you have the best oral health possible. The best way to do that is to have experts in orthodontistry taking care of your braces treatment and movement of your teeth; and have your general dentist taking care of cleaning your teeth regularly to avoid potential tooth decay. Set up your first free visit and we’ll explain how we communicate with your dentist. With many convenient locations from West Valley to West Jordan and all along the I-15 Salt Lake City corridor, you’re sure to find one that’s right for you. Call 801.999.4431 or use our convenient online appointment form to see us soon and get started on your new, beautiful smile.