Sticking to regularly scheduled teeth cleanings and exams are a critical piece of maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Routine dental cleanings and exams should be performed by your dentist every six months, and they’re more important than ever while undergoing orthodontic treatment.
With braces, your dental cleaning may take a little longer than usual, but not much longer, and it certainly shouldn’t be painful. Thomas Orthodontics is here to help you understand what a cleaning with braces involves and what to expect while sitting in the dental chair.
Why Professional Cleanings Are More Important Than Ever With Braces
While there are many positives to highlight when it comes to braces and other orthodontic treatments, it must also be said that there are also drawbacks. One challenge faced by many with braces is the ability to maintain proper oral hygiene. Brackets and wires make it more challenging to keep your teeth clean, making them more likely to develop cavities. For this reason, having your teeth professionally cleaned and examined regularly throughout orthodontic treatment is critical.
Not following through with your prescribed oral hygiene regimen while wearing braces can lead to several conditions, including:
- Bad Breath
- Tooth Pain/Sensitivity
- Tooth Discoloration
How Cleanings With Braces Can Differ
Dentists and dental hygienists are very comfortable and experienced with cleaning teeth that have braces. In fact, most dental professionals are so used to cleaning around brackets and wires that your visit to the dentist really won’t seem that different than before you had braces.
Special dental utensils will enable your provider to clean every surface of your teeth deeply. When working around the brackets and wires, any plaque that has hardened around the hardware will be removed.
Dental Treatments Are Safe With Braces, Too
Routine cleanings and exams are an excellent opportunity for your dentist to check your teeth for any minor issues before becoming more serious. Suppose an issue does arise, such as cavities or the need for a root canal. In that case, these treatments can also be safely and effectively performed while a patient is undergoing orthodontic treatment.
Tips For Making Your Dental Visit More Pleasant
If you or your child becomes nervous before dental appointments, take comfort in knowing dental anxiety is very common. It’s estimated that up to 40 million Americans suffer from some form of dental phobia. Use these tips to help make your next visit less stressful.
Relax Your Mind
Try taking a walk or doing some quiet medication before you leave for your appointment. Being in a relaxed mindset can significantly ease symptoms of anxiety.
If you’re already nervous about a dental appointment, adding the stress of running late will not help. Ensure you give yourself plenty of time to keep the mood stress-free.
Bring Comfort Items
Children especially find it comforting to bring a particular item that brings them joy, such as a favorite stuffed animal, a book, or music.
If you’re nervous about having your teeth cleaned or examined, let your dentist know! Dentists who are aware of a patient’s anxiety will usually take steps to help the patient feel more comfortable.
How Often Should Your Teeth Be Professionally Cleaned?
Not only can you have your teeth cleaned every six months while wearing braces, but it’s a critical piece in your orthodontic journey. The most important thing you can do to finish your treatment with straight teeth and a healthy smile is to take great care of your teeth and gums while wearing braces.
If your dental hygienist sees a lot of plaque buildup around the brackets, they may recommend you come in more often for cleanings to ensure no damage occurs while undergoing treatment. Most dentists recommend patients with braces be seen every 4-6 months, so ask your dentist what they recommend.
At Thomas Orthodontics, your healthy smile is our top priority. Contact us to schedule a consultation, so we can help make your dreams of a perfect smile a reality.