Do You Still Need Regular Dental Checkups When You Have Braces?

Dental braces require ongoing adjustments, as anyone who has worn them will know. When your braces are fitted for the first time, you must be prepared to attend regular checkups with your orthodontist so that your braces can be tightened, allowing them to continue repositioning your teeth throughout the course of your treatment. Of course, the braces are not the only thing in your mouth that needs to be monitored. How does a regular dental checkup happen when you're wearing braces?

Your Checkups Must Still Happen

It's not as though your dental checkups are put on hold until your dental braces are removed. If that were to happen, your orthodontist would detach the braces to reveal a set of perfectly straight teeth that are still in need of some urgent dental care. Your dental checkups happen independently of your orthodontic visits too, so it's not as though an orthodontist will perform general dental services and vice versa. However, your dentist and your orthodontist share a common goal, and that's to get your teeth in the best possible shape.

Professional Cleaning

Regular teeth cleaning is how your dentist helps to keep your teeth in the best possible shape. This professional cleaning (which is often called scaling and polishing) will take place at your checkups, and is simply a way to remove plaque from your teeth before it can become calcified, potentially damaging the dental enamel beneath, along with being a key contributor to gingivitis.

Working With Your Braces

In most cases, your dentist will clean around the braces. Sometimes, they might clean the braces too. Plaque can develop on the surfaces of your teeth, but when you have braces, the layout of the appliance creates additional spaces for plaque to accumulate. This means that your dentist is likely to clean the brackets affixed to your teeth, as well as the undersides of your braces' archwires. 

Diagnostic Testing During Your Checkups

As well as professional cleaning, dental checkups can involve periodic diagnostic testing. It won't happen each and every visit, but your dentist may occasionally take an x-ray of your teeth in order to look for abnormalities and potential issues that can't be detected during a standard examination. As your braces are causing your teeth to move, your dentist may order x-rays with slightly more frequency than usual, if only to examine the movement of your teeth, and whether this has caused any other dental issues which may need to be addressed. 

If your dental checkups show results from any problems, your braces might need to be temporarily removed for the issue to be addressed. However, the standard aspects of a dental checkup (such as professional cleaning) won't be affected by your braces at all. For more information, contact a teeth cleaning service near you to learn more.