Your orthodontist is the expert when it comes to building your amazing smile and bit. He or she is there to give you the beautiful smile you are trying to achieve and you will be seeing your orthodontist during treatment much more often than your regular dentist, usually around once ever 6 weeks. Many of our orthodontic patients tell us at the start of treatment that they thought they didn’t have to go to the regular dentist while they are seeing the orthodontist. This is a misconception as the orthodontic visits are not designed for tooth cleaning or cavity check ups because that requires different amounts of time and tools than we are set up for.
In fact, because of all the hardware in the mouth that is used during orthodontic treatment, our patients home dental care often appears less effective than it normally is making those regular dental visits even more critical than they normally are.
Dental Cleanings During Orthodontic Treatment
During your six-month checkup, you can expect the dentist to evaluate the overall health of your mouth including your gums. Our pediatric dentists and hygienists also check to make sure that there is no tooth decay while taking a look at your bite and the movement of your jaw joints. Plaque and calculus can build up in a very short period of time, especially around those braces, and food and drinks can stain teeth.
This is why we do a thorough cleaning of the teeth during this visit using special tools for our patients in braces. If plaque is not removed, it can build up and harden on teeth and can even affect the gum tissue. Therefore, it is essential to remove this with our special instruments. Plus, we can see and get to hard to reach places that you may miss at home. The 6 month recall visit is also a great time to review brushing and flossing techniques with your children. Gentle reminders from someone besides their parents are always a good idea.
Lastly, we may increase the number of hygiene recall visits per year for our patients that may be struggling with hygiene in braces and need a little extra support. While these extra visits may not always be covered by your dental plan, spending a few extra dollars on prevention will always be less expensive and less trouble than allowing a problem with hygiene get out of hand.
Don’t Forget Positive Habits at Home
We believe that it is essential to keep your regular dental appointments in order to maintain a beautiful smile and a healthy mouth, especially when wearing braces. However, just visiting your dentist and orthodontist is not enough. It is up to you to ensure that both you and your child have good habits between those visits, including regular brushing, flossing, rinsing, and keeping a healthy diet.
If any problems do arise, we can take care of them right away instead of letting the problems get out of control. Please be sure to raise any concerns you may have with hygiene and tooth and gum care during braces with us at your next visit.
About Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan, the offices of Drs. Delaney, 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.