You may have wondered, if you’re seeing an orthodontist, do you still need to see your regular dentist? It’s important to visit the dentist routinely, especially when you have braces. Here are 4 things to know while visiting the dentist with braces so that you can be prepared for what it’s like to see a dentist while undergoing orthodontic treatment.
1. Orthodontists and Dentists Do Different Things
Orthodontists and dentists are similar in that they both care for your teeth, but they do different things for your teeth. An orthodontist’s job is to help adjust or manage the alignment of your teeth and bite. So if your teeth are crooked, crowded, overlapping or if you have an overbite or underbite then you should see your orthodontist.
Dentists, on the other hand, are concerned with the health of your teeth and gums. A dentist’s job is to examine the health of your whole tooth, from the outer enamel layer right down to the roots with the help of x-rays. A dentist may also check the health of your gums by taking measurements of any areas that appear swollen or inflamed. A dentist can repair cavities in your teeth, if they occur. At a dentist’s office, you may also see a dental hygienist, who can professionally clean your teeth.
2. You Still Need Your Teeth Cleaned
It may seem like your teeth are getting a lot of attention lately when you have braces, with visits to an orthodontist for adjustments typically happening every 6 weeks, but it’s still important to see your regular dentist for an exam and cleaning every 6 months during this time. In fact, it’s more important than ever.
While visiting the dentist with braces, it’s a good idea to ask your dentist about any problem areas that may be developing because of all the added edges and hard-to-reach spaces the brackets and attachments of braces create in your mouth which can be the perfect hiding place for cavity-causing plaque to accumulate. Your dentist can give you tips on how to keep these areas clean to help prevent tooth decay and stains from occurring.
3. Tell Your Dentist You Have Braces
Call ahead of time and let the office know that you have braces, if they don’t already know, so that they can have all the tools ready that are needed. Some dentists do the exam and cleaning around braces, while others prefer to remove the wires first. While visiting the dentist with braces, feel free to ask them how they do things that may be different than before you had braces so you’ll know what to expect.
4. All Questions are Welcome
While visiting the dentist with braces, especially for the first time, it’s a new experience so it’s perfectly normal if you feel a bit nervous. It may be helpful to write down any questions you have beforehand so that you can ask the dentist about any concerns before they get started. Most things will remain the same for an exam and cleaning as they were before you had braces, but gaining an understanding of what will be done can help you to feel more comfortable and confident with the process.
Call our El Paso Dental Office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.