The number one goal for your oral health is maintaining healthy teeth and gums. This means practicing diligent daily oral hygiene habits such as brushing and flossing to remove plaque, along with routine dental visits to remove tartar, polish your teeth and check your gums.
When you opt for orthodontics to straighten your teeth, your oral care becomes even more important. In the case of braces, food and bacteria can become trapped easily in the brackets and hardware. To reduce the bacteria in the mouth, you can rinse with mouthwash after you brush and floss.
Removing plaque helps prevent cavities, swollen gums, halitosis and permanent stains on your teeth. Ideally, you should brush your teeth after every meal or snack but if you can’t brush, rinse with water to wash away particles and bacteria in the meantime.
If you neglect your hygiene, you may find yourself with gingivitis, the early stage of gum disease. As this is caused by plaque along the gum line, you’ll want to brush those areas and massage your gums gently whenever you brush. If gingivitis isn’t properly treated, the gums can become infected around the bone and ligaments holding your teeth. This can cause gum pockets to form, which harbor even more bacteria and plaque.
To avoid cavities and gum disease, take care of your teeth and braces by practicing the following:
-Brush with fluoride toothpaste twice a day and replace your toothbrush every couple of months as the wear from the metal brackets can affect the bristles.
-Floss once a day with a tool that you like using. The most commonly used flossing tools are waxed floss with a floss threader and water flossers that flush out bacteria and food particles around the gums and in the small spaces of the teeth and braces.
-See your dentist every six months for a professional dental cleaning.
-Rinsing daily with an oral rinse can help prevent white spots on tooth enamel and demineralization from acids left on the teeth that break down enamel. We can also prescribe an oral rinse tailored to your oral condition.
For more information please give us a call to find how to take care of your teeth while wearing braces. We want to help you achieve the healthy, straightened teeth you deserve!