Remember to Visit the Dentist During Orthodontic Treatment
Posted on 05/20/2015 by Dr. Lovrovich
Something that often gets overlooked during orthodontic treatment is the need for regular dental checkups. Many patients think since they come in to see us for their regular tightening appointments or for checkups on their Invisalign aligners that they do not need to see the general dentist. This is one of the worst things you can do however as it could result in excessive tooth decay, gum disease, and discolored teeth once your braces or aligners are complete and your teeth are nice and straight. Who wants to ruin perfectly straight teeth with decay, disease, or discoloration? In order to avoid that, you need to keep up with your regular appointments – which are typically every 6 months.
Decay is very common, especially during the warm summer months when kids, teens, and even adults are indulging in sweet treats such as ice cream, popsicles, juices, and sports drinks. The high sugar content that is even found in fruits like watermelon and cantaloupe are sitting on your teeth after you eat them. If you are not good about getting to the bathroom right away to brush your teeth, you are putting them at risk for decay. Once you do finally get to the bathroom to brush your teeth, the damage could have been done as the sugar and acids have wedged their way into each bracket and are now impossible to get to with your toothbrush. When you keep up your regular dental appointments you can have your teeth thoroughly cleaned and inspected to ensure that decay has not begun as your teeth become straighter.
Periodontal disease can happen for much the same reason as decay – if you are not properly brushing and more importantly, flossing, every day, your gums are at risk for bleeding and inflammation, both of which are signs of gum disease. It is vital that you floss with threaders every day and pay close attention to the areas in between your teeth. In addition, going to the dentist at least every 6 months will ensure that all plaque and tartar are removed from your teeth and gums, rather than being allowed to sit on your gums, putting you at risk for gum disease in the future.
Nice, straight teeth can be ultimately ruined by discoloration. If your teeth are not properly brushed and flossed and plenty of water is not consumed, you will have discolored teeth when those brackets come off. This should be incentive enough to eat a healthy diet and keep up your good oral health habits as you undergo your orthodontic treatment. The treatment created to straighten your teeth is meant to give you a beautiful smile when you are finished, but neglecting your oral health while they are in place will negate the effects of your efforts.
It might seem like a hassle to visit the dentist after having to visit our office periodically for your adjustments, but it is a crucial part of your treatment. Why not make it a point to make a dentist appointment this summer? Most people have more free time and the ability to get to more appointments during the summer months. This way you are ensuring that when your braces come off, that it will be a happy day, rather than one filled with remorse because you did not keep up with proper oral health care.
If you are in need of an orthodontist or are curious about whether your teeth are at risk during your orthodontic treatment, give us a call today at (206) 501-4566 to schedule your consultation!