Do you see your dentist as often as you should? Some people need to have a checkup multiple times each year, but those whose teeth and gums are in great shape may only need a yearly checkup. On average, two visits per year are recommended for most people. Professional teeth cleaning is a standard part of your regular checkups, but there are some forms of orthodontic treatment that might seem to get in the way of this professional cleaning. So how does professional teeth cleaning work when you have braces?
Your braces mean you will need to have regular appointments with your orthodontist throughout the course of your treatment. This allows them to gauge your progress and make the adjustments necessary for the treatment to be effective. However, it's your necessary appointments with your dentist that will include teeth cleaning, and these appointments must be kept. Cleaning your teeth at home can become logistically complicated when you have braces, which makes the professional cleanings even more important.
Your dentist will generally work around your braces, although occasionally they may remove your archwire in order to properly access all parts of your mouth. The archwire will be reinstalled to the exact length and tension once your dentist has finished. There are few other special considerations for professional cleaning while you're wearing braces, other than the fact that the appointment may take a little longer than it ordinarily would. Be sure to remind the dental office that you have braces when you make the appointment so they can schedule accordingly.
Avoiding Demineralization with Braces
Professional cleaning is also one of the most effective ways to safeguard against demineralization, which is a common complaint after wearing braces. This is when contact from the portions of your braces that attach to your teeth (namely the brackets) has led to mineral loss in your teeth, largely due to the difficult-to-clean deposits of plaque around your brackets. Eradicating dental plaque and tartar as much as possible (both by thoroughly cleaning at home and having professional cleaning) is your best bet when it comes to the effects of this demineralization, which presents as white spots on the surfaces of your teeth.
In short, be sure to keep up with your regular dental checkups and cleanings during your orthodontic treatment. By not maintaining your teeth to the highest possible standard, it can almost defeat the purpose of your braces, so it's important to avoid this.