Do I Still Need To See My Dentist During Orthodontic Treatment?

Do I Still Need To See My Dentist During Orthodontic Treatment?
Posted on 02/05/2018

woman at dentist

This is a very common question for patients new to orthodontic treatment, and the short answer is, yes, you need to see your regular dentist during orthodontic treatment. Even though Drs. Shivar, Peluso or Andersen are checking your teeth at every appointment, they are focused on the movement of your teeth while your regular dentist will monitor the health of your teeth.

Why See A Dentist When You Have Braces?

Similar to your primary care physician, your dentist is your primary oral health physician during your orthodontic treatment, so it is his or her responsibility to help you maintain clean and healthy teeth as well as identify any problems your teeth may have.

There’s a good chance that your dentist recommended you seek out orthodontic treatment in the first place, so it’s also his or her job to refer you to any other specialists that you may need.

Your dentist and hygienist will conduct thorough exams of your mouth (including teeth, jaw, gums), professional cleanings, and any fillings you may need for cavities you may develop. We recommend our patients see their regular dentist once every six months for a cleaning and check-up.

Risks Of Cavities With Braces

Whether you have braces or Invisalign, you need to include regular visits to the dentist in your oral health regimen. With braces, you will have brackets and wires that make it easier for food to get caught in and around your teeth causing the formation of bacteria that can lead to plaque buildup. These appliances also make at home oral care a little more difficult to properly brush and floss, so it’s important to follow our recommendations for proper oral hygiene with braces.

If you are wearing Invisalign, you are still not off the hook for going to your regular dentist. Clear aligners that you wear almost all day every day can create an environment around your teeth that is ideal for growing bacteria. If you do not follow your prescribed oral hygiene regimen, several conditions could arise including:

  • Gingivitis

  • Bad Breath

  • Tooth Pain/Sensitivity

  • Tooth Discoloration

  • Cavities

While your orthodontist looks at your gums and teeth during treatment visits, it is essential and routinely part of your orthodontic guidelines to visit your general dentist on a routine basis for continuing care.

Choose An Orthodontist That Works With Your Dentist

When you are choosing an orthodontist, ask them how they communicate with your current dentist. At Eastern Virginia Orthodontics, our doctors work closely with your dentist to make sure you have the best oral health possible. Please contact our office with any additional questions and we look forward to seeing you soon!