If you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment with braces, you’ll likely see your orthodontist for adjustments every four to six weeks. With so much time spent under the care of an oral health professional, is it still necessary to maintain regular visits to a general dentist?
The answer is yes. Orthodontists and dentists play different roles, with each being responsible for a different aspect of your oral health.
What is my dentist responsible for?
While orthodontists are capable of assessing your overall oral health, they specialise and focus on diagnosing and correcting the misalignment of your teeth and jaws. Think of it this way: all orthodontists are qualified to offer dental services, but the majority of general dentists are not sufficiently trained to offer high standard orthodontic services.
With that being said, many orthodontists focus only on their specialised services. Hence, visiting dentists for diagnosis and treatment of oral health issues in your teeth, gums, tongue, and mouth is necessary.
Dentists perform specialised services such as:
- Filling cavities and repairing cracked teeth
- Treating gum disease
- Administering dental X-rays and interpreting the results
- Extracting teeth
- Root canal treatment
Therefore, as your primary oral health provider, dentists maintain an essential role even as you get braces to fix your teeth.
Tooth decay and cavities
Visiting a dentist is more important than ever when you get braces. Braces make you more prone to plaque and tartar accumulation; the brackets and wires in your braces make it easier for food to get caught in-between and around your teeth. It is also challenging to brush the right places when your braces cover a portion of each tooth.
With Invisalign, food and plaque may get stuck between your clear aligners and teeth, leading to the buildup of bacteria and acids that damage your tooth enamel. If neglected, this buildup makes you more prone to get tooth decay (i.e. cavities), or gingivitis.
Getting a cavity may prolong your orthodontic treatment as your dentist may have to remove your braces or Invisalign attachments to gain full access to your teeth. Hence, it is crucial to go for regular check-ups and dental cleaning sessions.
It may seem challenging for a dentist to clean your teeth when there are wires and brackets in your mouth. However, you can rest assured that your dentist has likely taken care of many other patients undergoing orthodontic treatment and has acquired special tools that work around your braces or Invisalign.
All you have to do is tell your dentist about your orthodontic treatment when you make your appointment in case they want to schedule a longer appointment. This is because your dentist will try to clean around your brackets and wires carefully and may opt to remove your archwire so that they can better reach around tight areas. They may also want to use a smaller brush to clean the nooks and crannies of your braces.
Ideally, everyone should go for a dental cleaning twice a year. However, if you are wearing braces, you may be asked by your orthodontist or dentist to visit more frequently as you face a higher risk of developing cavities and other dental problems.
You still need to brush and floss regularly
It is important to remember that regular professional dental care is not a substitute for your own dental responsibilities at home. It is thus necessary to continue brushing and flossing your teeth properly. It also helps to establish and maintain a healthy diet and minimise the consumption of sticky foods and refined sugars.
Wearing braces or Invisalign does not eliminate the need to visit your dentist. By going for regular dental check-ups, you can boost the effectiveness of your orthodontic treatment and ensure that your smile stays beautiful.
For those contemplating getting braces, consider Invisalign. The cost of clear braces in Singapore is highly affordable, and they are suitable if you’re looking for a less visually-distracting option. Contact us today at https://www.bigsmile.com.sg/ to find out more about our treatment options and services!