What should I do if I have braces on, but have not gone back to see my dentist in 2 years? (photo)
I'm 26 this year. As I'm getting married, I wish to have my teeth straightened and have the confidence to smile during my big day. The issue I'm facing is that I only have braces on my lower teeth, and also that I have not seen my dentist in 2 years (the location is far). I wish to have my current braces removed, and to find a proper solution for my crooked teeth. Kindly let me know what would be the best solution in my case! I'd appreciate your advice a lot (:
Hi Gwen, from the photo attached, the initial assessment reveals that you require extractions on the upper jaw. Your gums also need to be examined as it seems reddish, signalling gum issues. It is advised that you go for a thorough cleaning first to remove the plaque and tartar. If left untreated, gum disease may worsen and cause bone loss on the lower jaw.
We generally require a clinical examination of your teeth, x-rays and photos in order to provide a treatment plan. This is done during your first visit. During then, we advise the different type of teeth alignment methods available and you can select the one that you feel most comfortable with in terms of budget, frequency of review and comfort.
For any orthodontic (teeth alignment) treatment to be effective, it is important to visit your Orthodontist regularly. Therefore you may want to find an Orthodontist that is near to your home/workplace/school so that it is easily accessible.
After you have found your new Orthodontist, inform your current Orthodontist so that he/she can assist with the transfer of your past dental records.
Once you restart your orthodontic journey, remember to brush and floss diligently so that your gums are healthy throughout the teeth straightening process.
Congratulations to you and your fiance on your engagement!
I agree with Dr Eugene Chan on the importance of good oral health and regular visits to your orthodontist as the risk of tooth decay and gum disease increases. With braces on, it's undoubtedly more difficult to maintain a good level of oral hygiene without regular maintenance visits to your dentist. Furthermore, prolonging braces treatment also poses a higher risk of root shortening/resorption. I would strongly recommend you to seek treatment soon.
In addition to what Dr Chan advised you on, your upper teeth does seem quite a bit of overlapping, extractions seem likely in order to create sufficient space to align your teeth. As you are getting married soon, Invisalign may be a better option for you. Treatment with invisalign or fixed braces will take at least 12-24 months to complete.
If your wedding date happens to fall during this period, at least with Invisalign, you can always take off the aligners on your big day or for any wedding photo shoots you may wish to plan. I see many brides to be, and for those on fixed braces, we need to take the braces off, and put them back after the photo shoot or wedding day, which will incur more cost as we will need to use new braces each time.
Hope this helps and I hope you find an orthodontist near your house soon!
Dr Geraldine Lee