Achieving healthy, beautiful smiles is a team effort that involves the orthodontist, the family dentist, the patient (and the parents, if the patient is young) and, as needed, other dental specialists. The orthodontist provides the expertise, the treatment plan and the techniques to straighten teeth and align the jaws. The family dentist helps make sure that teeth and gums stay clean and healthy. The patient must cooperate by following the dentist’s and the orthodontist’s instructions carefully so that the teeth and jaws move in the way desired and on the prescribed schedule.
Because dental hygiene is so important, regular visits to the family dentist should continue every six months during orthodontic treatment (or more often, if recommended). It is essential that the patient avoid foods which may damage orthodontic appliances. The patient must also maintain a healthy, nutritional diet to achieve the best possible results from treatment. A good diet provides essential nutrients to bones and tissues undergoing change during orthodontic treatment.