Just because you’re having your teeth straightened by braces does not mean you get a break from regular oral health cleanings. In fact, your orthodontist will recommend you be extra vigilant in caring for your teeth while you have braces. This means keeping up with your regular dental appointments and cleanings. Here’s what you need to know about caring for your teeth, oral health cleanings, and dental visits while being treated with braces.
Braces and Oral Self-Care
Let’s go ahead and state the obvious. It’s hard to keep your teeth clean when you have a system of wires and brackets installed on them. This is why it’s so important to follow all of your orthodontist’s instructions when it comes to braces and self-care.
In a best-case scenario, you should brush your teeth after every meal when you have braces. At a minimum, you should brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss once per day. Your orthodontist can teach you how to do these things with braces on your teeth, but it is up to you to continue this regimen on your own at home. Parents should also remind their teens with braces to be diligent in brushing and flossing their teeth. At Melbourne Orthodontics, Dr. Reddick will recommend a special floss that you can use with braces.
The reason for this is because braces can make it easier for food to become trapped in hard-to-reach places. Those trapped food particles collect bacteria, and bacteria can eventually lead to tooth decay and cavities. If a cavity develops while you’re wearing braces, you may need to have the braces removed in order to have a filling installed.
It can also help to vigorously rinse your mouth out with water when caring for your braces. Really swish the water around to catch any hard-to-reach food particles and then spit out the water. This should be done in addition to brushing your teeth. Another good habit to develop when you wear braces is to buy a travel toothbrush and take it with you to school or work. Now you’ll always have a toothbrush handy to take care of your teeth.
Braces and Oral Health Cleanings
If you are already seeing your orthodontist in Melbourne or Indian Harbour Beach for checkups related to your braces, do you still need to go to the dentist for oral health cleanings? Absolutely!
Dentists and orthodontists are two different types of doctors. At Melbourne Orthodontics, we’ll be installing and adjusting your braces and working to straighten your teeth for that perfect smile. But your primary dentist is still the doctor who cares for the health of your teeth and gums.
When you have braces, you are at an increased risk of developing cavities, gum disease, and other oral health problems. This is why your dentist will recommend that you visit at least twice a year for a full teeth cleaning while you have braces. (People without braces should get a teeth cleaning at least once per year.) A professional cleaning supplements your at-home care for your teeth.
Your primary dentist will also be most likely to identify problems early, such as gingivitis or a cavity. You should expect to see your primary care dentist more often while your teeth are being corrected with braces. This is to ensure that you have the best outcome possible from braces.
Contact Melbourne Orthodontics About Braces
One of the ironies about braces is that while they are working to straighten your teeth and give you a great smile, your oral health is actually more vulnerable to harmful problems like cavities or gingivitis. This is why your orthodontist and your dentist will need to see you more often. They work in tandem to help keep your teeth and gums healthy, and to ensure the best outcome.
In addition to traditional metal-wire braces, we also offer alternative treatments such as invisible braces and Invisalign clear aligners to patients. If you’re ready to explore your orthodontic options, contact Melbourne Orthodontics to schedule an appointment. We have convenient locations in Melbourne and Indian Harbour Beach.