A woman with metal braces undergoes a dental cleaning.

One of the most common questions we receive from new patients is, “Should I visit my dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings while wearing braces?” The answer to this question is simple. Yes. Everyone wearing braces can and should continue with regular dental check-ups and cleanings while undergoing orthodontic treatment.

Brushing & Flossing with Braces

Nobody ever said it’s easy to keep teeth clean while wearing braces! Making sure your teeth are professionally cleaned at least twice a year while wearing braces is essential. In some situations, we even recommend professional cleanings four times a year. With or without braces, teeth endure plaque and tartar build up over time. Wearing braces makes it challenging to keep your teeth completely clear of food particles and bacteria that can lead to cavities. Professional dental cleanings remove plaque and tartar and keep your teeth and gums healthy.

Besides professional dental cleanings while wearing braces, here are a few other important reasons to see your regular dentist while wearing braces:

Tooth Decay. Just because you’re wearing braces does not mean your teeth are not susceptible to decay. If a cavity is detected while you’re in braces, your dentist will treat the issue the same way it’s normally treated. It’s important not to ignore tooth decay. The status of your oral health can affect your teeth, gums, and overall health.

Bad Breath. Determining the exact cause of bad breath is crucial. The issue may or may not be related to your braces. Depending on the source of the problem, your dentist will provide guidance and treatment recommendations.

Painful or Swollen Gums. It’s more challenging to brush and floss effectively while wearing braces. Due to the added complexity of cleaning your teeth with braces, it’s more important than ever to visit your regular dentist for a professional cleaning at least twice a year. This can help prevent or alleviate painful or swollen gums.

Stained Teeth. It’s smart to avoid food and beverages that are known to stain teeth while you’re wearing braces. If your teeth are showing signs of staining, your dentist or hygienist may be able to reverse or halt the discoloration. At the end of your orthodontic treatment, stained teeth may respond well to a whitening treatment.

Keep Visiting Your Regular Dentist

Most other regular dental care and treatment is possible while wearing braces. For example, it’s possible to perform a root canal or an extraction on a tooth that is not confined by a band, bracket or wire. As our orthodontic patient, we offer advice on taking proper care of your teeth while wearing braces. We recommend seeing your family dentist on a regular schedule before, during, and after orthodontic treatment.

We want your teeth to be perfectly straight and attractive, and your teeth and gums to be as healthy as possible! This is accomplished through a combination of excellent orthodontic treatment and regular visits to your dentist for cleanings and routine exams. We work collaboratively with general dentists to make sure your teeth and gums are in excellent condition for a lifetime of beautiful smiles.