If you currently wear braces, you may feel that you don't need to see your dentist regularly throughout the course of your dental alignment. However, regular visits to your orthodontist cannot take the place of the restorative and preventive services provided by your dentist. Here are a few indispensable services that your dentist provides, even while your braces are still in place.
Plaque starts building up as soon as food enters your oral cavity. This substance, which has a sticky consistency because of its biofilm content, adheres to teeth, gums and other soft tissues of the mouth until it is brushed or flossed away. However, plaque hardens if it is left in place for long periods.
Once plaque has hardened, it is called tartar. Tartar cannot be removed through at-home oral hygiene efforts. Your dentist must scrape it away during a professional dental cleaning.
If tartar is allowed to accumulate unchecked, oral microbes and plaque can accumulate in the porous substance, encouraging tooth decay. In addition, the yellow color of the tartar can mar the appearance of your teeth. Once your braces are removed, the look of your teeth can suffer from tartar buildup and the damage caused by decay.
Your orthodontist will ensure that your dental alignment progresses as it should, but during preventive visits, your dentist will screen your mouth for signs of cancer. Tissue that includes tumorous growths or has an inconsistent texture or hue can signal the onset of cancer.
Since early detection of oral cancer can improve the outcome the disease, it is important to see your dentist at least once every six months, as prescribed.
Treatment for Decay
Braces do not prevent tooth decay. In fact, you may find it more difficult to clean your teeth properly because of your appliance.
If a cavity does develop during your orthodontic treatment, it needs to be filled before it worsens. If left in place, tooth decay can destroy a tooth. In addition, it can spread from one tooth to another. Promptly treating a cavity with a suitable filling can help ensure that the decay is removed before the tooth incurs more damage and prevent it from spreading. A delay in treatment, on the other hand, could result in the need for a dental extraction or root canal treatment.
If you have braces and have not been visiting a dentist regularly, schedule an appointment with a dentist in your local area. Click here for info on dentists and preventative care while you have braces.