The number one concern with dental braces is that they are challenging to keep clean, and therefore difficult to keep your teeth and gums clean! Dental braces consist of brackets on each tooth, sometimes bands on your back molars, and an archwire that extends across the brackets and bands. Sometimes different elastics and metal ties will be used to hold the archwire to the brackets and bands. All of this hardware in your mouth makes it much more difficult to clean around as there are many more areas where plaque and bacteria will build up. Your dental hygienist can help you navigate which tools will work best for cleaning your braces at home. When you see your dental hygienist, all the bacteria will be removed from your braces, teeth and gums, providing you with a fresh start and a clean mouth.
Another essential reason to visit your dentist and dental hygienist while you have braces on is to prevent gum inflammation and gum disease that are caused by bacteria accumulation. Because it is more difficult to clean your teeth with braces on, bacteria can build up easier and lead to problems with your gums. When you see your dental hygienist, the bacteria will be cleaned away, preventing gum issues. You may be recommended to see your dental hygienist every 3-4 months to keep your mouth as healthy as possible during the course of your braces.
Just like with gum issues, braces can also make you more susceptible to cavities, due to that same bacteria accumulation and difficulty with cleaning. When you see your dentist and dental hygienist every 3-4 months, your teeth will be checked for cavities.
When the teeth are moving and shifting due to orthodontic treatment, the crown and root of the teeth have to move. Sometimes during movement, the root of the teeth can either end up at an angle or resorb from the top aspect, and these are both conditions that must be checked. X-rays may be recommended to check on the roots of your teeth, and these x-rays can either be taken at your dentist or your orthodontist.