Clean teeth and healthy dental routines are always an excellent idea, but even more so when you’re wearing braces. Let’s look at the specific advantages good oral hygiene provides for orthodontic patients.
Reducing the Chance of Cavities
You already know that careful brushing and flossing prevent cavities, removing the sticky plaque, which erodes our enamel. And, even though brushing can be more difficult when you’re cleaning around your wires and brackets, it’s especially important now. While no one ever wants a cavity, it could become even more of a nuisance when you have braces. Depending on the cavity’s location, you might need to have wires and brackets removed to clean and fill it. This could require additional appointments and interrupt your orthodontic progress.
Protecting Your Enamel from Demineralization
Bacteria uses food particles left on teeth and around braces to produce the acids that cause decay. Even before a cavity develops, these acids attack minerals in our enamel, leaving enamel weakened, or demineralized. This process can also lead to white spots on teeth (decalcification), which can be permanent. These spots are often quite sensitive, and may lead to cavities. Careful brushing and flossing around brackets will help eliminate the plaque that can cause demineralization.
Keeping Your Gums Healthy
Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, and can affect even young people when their gums aren’t properly cared for. What does gingivitis look like? If your gums are red, swollen, bleed easily, or are painful or receding, you could have gingivitis. Why does this occur? Because your gums become irritated by the buildup of plaque and tartar when you aren’t brushing effectively. Gums can become more sensitive when you wear braces, so, if you have symptoms of gingivitis, check with your dentist to make sure your gums stay their healthiest.
You can see why keeping up with your dental hygiene is so important while you’re in braces. Luckily, we have many suggestions to help you keep your teeth their cleanest!
- Brush after every meal. This is especially important for making sure no food particles stick to your enamel or your orthodontic work.
- Make sure to clean around braces and between teeth and gums. Using regular dental floss or floss products designed just for braces wearers is more important than ever. If you have trouble working around your braces, try an interproximal brush or a water flosser.
- Use a fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride helps protect teeth from cavities and also works to remineralize enamel.
- Talk to us about over-the-counter or prescription mouth rinses for protecting your teeth from cavities and soothing your gums and mouth.
- Drink water. Water helps remove food particles and bacteria after you eat. If you have a snack and can’t brush right away, rinsing with water is a good way to reduce any lingering particles, but brushing is always best.
- Remember to keep up with your regular professional cleanings. Your dentist’s office will know how to get your teeth their cleanest even while you’re wearing braces.
If you have any questions about dental supplies and habits while you’re wearing braces, talk to us. The team at Bel Air Orthodontics will provide you with the very best information to help you make sure your beautiful smile is a healthy smile!