Do Braces Ruin Good Oral Hygiene?
There’s not a whole lot that makes us happier as dentists than seeing one of our patients see their new smile after finishing orthodontic treatment. We offer short term orthodontics at our Orlando office, but the wait is no less exciting for them or our team!
Wearing braces opens up a whole new set of concerns, though, and we’re not talking being embarrassed about how they look. It becomes a lot harder to clean your teeth when you’re wearing braces, which can cause your oral hygiene to suffer a lot.
What Braces Do To Your Teeth
Even short term braces like the ones we do at Overmeyer Family Dental increase your risk of suffering from cavities, gum disease, and other oral health problems. It often seems like caring for your teeth is impossible during treatment, but don’t worry – it isn’t!
Taking good care of your teeth is essential while undergoing orthodontic treatment. If you don’t make an extra effort to protect your smile you could end up suffering from any one of these conditions:
- Have you ever noticed a lighter white spot on someone’s tooth? That’s a demineralized spot where plaque acid has started to wear away their tooth’s enamel. It’s the first sign of a future cavity, and for braces wearers they’re an especially big problem. White squares surrounding the brackets is common when braces come off, indicating that you weren’t cleaning well around them. The result is unsightly discoloration and future decay!
- Keeping the spaces between your teeth and at your gumline clean isn’t an optional part of dental care, but for a lot of people it becomes really difficult in braces. Brushing at the proper angle is hard, and it’s nearly impossible to get a piece of floss in between your teeth! The result of not getting proper care is gingivitis, which is pretty common in orthodontic patients. Gingivitis ruins the gums, eventually causing recession and potential tooth loss.
- Bad breath might seem like a constant when you’re wearing braces but it has a simple cause and solution. All those tight spaces and metal bits are like magnets for bacteria and and food particles. When they combine in the deep recesses of your mouth the result is bad smelling acids. Yet again, the solution is good dental hygiene!
Staying Healthy While Wearing Braces
We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: it doesn’t have to be hard to care for your mouth while you’re wearing braces. Yes, braces of any kind do pose some additional challenges to maintaining a healthy mouth, but that just means you need to do a bit more fighting back.
The tools and methods you used to clean your teeth before may not work while you’re wearing braces, so we recommend taking the following actions:
- It can be tricky to brush with braces. Make sure you’re angling your toothbrush in different directions to get between the teeth and braces.
- Custom small tip brushes, like a sulca brush, are ideal for orthodontic patients. You can use one to get between your brackets and really give the sides of them a good scrub. They go where a full sized toothbrush can’t!
- Flossing is one of the most commonly dropped oral care routines for orthodontic patients. We recommend using disposable threaded flossers, many of which will fit perfectly between your braces wire and teeth. You can also use superfloss, a much wider product that’s designed to fit between gaps and braces.
- We typically tell patients to brush twice a day, but orthodontic patients would do well to brush after every meal. Wait at least 30 minutes after you eat to brush. Acid from plaque bacteria softens your enamel right after a meal, so wait for it to firm up first.
Of course, when you come to our office for regular dental checkups and orthodontic maintenance we’ll take the time to check your teeth and gums for the early signs of decay or gingivitis. With regular care we’ll have you in and out of your braces in record time with a healthy, shining smile!
Braces Can Be Easy – And Fast!
With the short term orthodontic solutions we offer you could be looking at a transformed smile in just a matter of months. We want to show you how simple braces – and taking care of them – can be, so give us a call today!