Maintaining good oral health when you are under an orthodontic treatment is not the same when you are not wearing braces. Braces can make it a bit difficult for you to clean your teeth because the metal brackets of your braces can easily trap food. When these food particles trapped in the brackets and in the wires, you are at risk of developing decay and cavities. However, no matter the difficulty, you should double your effort when it comes to making sure your teeth and gums are properly cleaned even with the presence of the appliance in your mouth. Under normal circumstances, you may just be required to brush your teeth twice a day, but when you are wearing braces, you should be brushing after every meal. It may be more tedious to do it but this is what it takes so that you can stay on top of your oral health and be able to avoid many oral health problems in the end.
You also need to spend longer time when you are brushing to be able to stay away from potential decay gum diseases. It is also important to avoid causing damage to your braces and avoid chewing, eating hard and crunchy foods so that they do not break the arch wires of your braces. You also have to limit your consumption of too much sweets, avoid biting your lip and pushing your tongue against your teeth.
To be able to stay on top of your oral health even with braces, here are some tips you can follow:
- Brushing is recommended to be done twice daily, but when you are already under orthodontic treatment, as much as possible, you should brush your teeth after every meal, whether they are your regular meals or meals in between. Pack your toothbrush with you so that you can brush after you eat wherever you are whether you are in school or at work. Braces can easily trap food particles which is why they have to be removed right away, otherwise they will lead to the formation of plaque and eventually development of decay and cavities. You may also need to use a special kind of toothbrush specifically designed for braces, or you can also use a soft bristled toothbrush.
In order to make sure brushing is effective, you can follow the correct brushing techniques. You can begin with rinsing your mouth with water to loosen the food particles left in your mouth and the ones that are stuck in between your teeth, wires and brackets. Make sure that you do brushing for at least 2 to 3 minutes for thorough cleaning.
- Flossing should also not be forgotten and should always be done at least once daily. Flossing can help you make sure that the tiny spaces between your teeth are clean, as well as the spaces between the braces and under the wires. For easier use, you may need to use a waxed floss which you can just purchase from drugstores and pharmacies. You can ask your orthodontist for the best products that you can use. An interdental brush may be recommended too if you have larger spaces between your teeth, and this can be used as an alternative to flossing. And to help you kill the bacteria in your mouth, mouth rinses can also help.
- Watch your diet especially when you are under an orthodontic treatment. Limit your consumption of sugary and starchy foods because these are not healthy for your teeth. Too much sugar and starch increase the production of acid in your mouth and too much acid eats away your tooth enamel, making it weaker and prone to cavities and decay. And because you have the appliance attached to your teeth, you should stay away from chewy and sticky foods especially the ones that are more difficult to remove. Also avoid chewing on ice, nuts and other hard foods to protect the wires from breaking. Instead, you can choose apples and carrots for healthier snacks.
- Follow your scheduled appointments with your dentist. Because you are now wearing braces, you will be required to visit your dentist on a monthly basis. Be sure to follow your schedule so your dentist can regularly check the condition of your teeth and gums as well as the condition of the braces, if there’s anything that needs fixing.
For more information on braces and oral health, you can call New Dental Images at (916) 270-2737, or visit us at 9275 E. Stockton Blvd, #200 Elk Grove, CA 95624.