Dental braces are placed on teeth to correct a malocclusion. If your general dentist is also your orthodontist, you will be reminded to have your teeth cleaned every six months throughout your teeth straightening treatment. The appointments you regularly keep that pertain to teeth straightening only are not a substitute for your cleaning visits.
If you wear traditional metal braces you will maintain regular appointments where the wires on your braces are adjusted to keep your teeth straightening program moving. Your dental provider is only concerned with that aspect of your oral health during these appointments.
If you wear metal braces, there are multitudes of areas for plaque to build making your six month cleaning visits as important as ever. Plaque build-up is a primary contributor to dental decay and/or gum disease. Plaque starts out as a sticky substance that clings to bacteria already present on teeth. Areas that are difficult to reach with a toothbrush or dental floss allow plaque to grow and harden. If not removed, bacteria and plaque allowed to build can permeate tooth enamel leading to decay.
Patients who wear braces are advised to brush and floss daily, and your dentist will teach you how to floss with traditional metal braces, but this can be a tedious task. And since many patients are children and teens, oral health may not be given the attention needed to maintain excellent dentition. But that makes regular cleaning visits much more important.
Plaque removal can only be achieved through your dental professional. Regular brushing with a fluoridated toothpaste twice every day is advised, but even the most fastidious patient will experience plaque growth. Cleaning teeth around braces and at the gum line will help to reduce the possibility of decay and gum disease from developing. And a dental exam may prevent a minor problem from evolving into something requiring major treatment.
Regular hygiene visits kept while wearing braces increases the likelihood that teeth will be healthier when braces are removed. And straight teeth allow fewer places for plaque to build making subsequent dental visits easier for all.
General oral health rules for all patients include limiting sugary snacks and beverages; brush at least twice each day; and floss daily. Most importantly, see our dentist every six months for cleaning and dental exam!
Call Aesthetic Dental Partners at 210-616-0858 today to schedule a visit.