We have found over the years that some of our patients do not see the dentist regularly when they are undergoing orthodontic treatment. The main reason being that the patient or parent felt that they were seeing a dentist monthly for orthodontic adjustments. However, the orthodontist is not equipped to clean the teeth or diagnose cavities the same way your general dentist or pediatric dentist is. In fact, you need your dentist more than ever when undergoing orthodontic treatment.
Your orthodontist and your dentist support each other
Your orthodontist takes care of aligning your teeth and jaws. Your dentist makes sure your teeth and gums stay clean and healthy.
Our patients often tell us they don’t think they need to see us when they already see their orthodontists. The difference is that the orthodontist is focused on making sure the braces or clear aligner systems are working properly and advancing the tooth movement each time the patient visits. We don’t have the tools to clean teeth and search for cavities available at orthodontic appointments. Similarly, our dentists and hygienists do not have all the tools for adjusting and maintaining orthodontic appliances.
Our orthodontists will be in communication with your dentist. When orthodontic treatment is started, your orthodontist will either call or send a letter to your dentist detailing the nature of the treatment and to emphasize that we need their help along the way to keep the teeth and gums as happy as possible. Keep in mind, orthodontic appliances unfortunately make it much harder to keep the teeth clean as the braces and wires can trap extra food
Sometimes, when oral hygiene is not ideal, we will recommend that a patient sees the dentist/hygienist more often than twice a year to help prevent cavities, stains on the teeth and gum disease.
Don’t neglect good habits at home
Just because your dentist and orthodontist are both watching your teeth doesn’t mean you should stop brushing, flossing, rinsing and watching your diet.
Our main recommendations during orthodontic treatment are:
- Continue with your regular dental hygiene visits
- Avoid sugary and acidic drinks as completely as possible
- Brush 2-3 times daily (for 2 minutes each time) and critically evaluate if you removed all the food when you are done
- Floss or use a waterpik before bed
- Rinse with an antimicrobial or anticavity mouthwash before bed
- Keep your regular orthodontic appointments and let us know immediately if something has broken so we can determine the appropriate time for you to come in to fix it.
About Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan, the offices of Drs. Plunkett, Ralstrom, Makowski, Thanasas, Ker, and Associates
Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan have specialized in pediatric dentistry and orthodontics since 1968. Our family-friendly and newly renovated office gives patients and families a more comfortable and consistent experience with dentistry from the very beginning. Our pediatric dentists treat children from newborn to 18 years of age while our orthodontists provide care for both children and adults and are proud to be Premier Providers of Invisalign and Invisalign Teen services. The ability to treat all patients with compassion and individuality, including those that may have special needs reaches beyond our facility, which has treatment rooms available for children who require additional privacy and customized care options. We pioneered valued hospital affiliations to allow dental services to be performed at DMC Children’s Hospital and St. John Macomb Hospital, when appropriate or necessary, and our specialists are also proud to be on staff at Henry Ford and Beaumont hospitals.