Braces and Oral Hygiene
Braces are a blessing for your smile. By straightening out your teeth, you can gain easier access to areas of your mouth when brushing to prevent bacteria from forming and festering. You must practice good oral hygiene for your braces to do their work of repositioning your teeth.
Personal Braces Cleaning
Brush twice a day to remove plaque from your teeth, lest it lead to tooth decay and worse problems. This is especially important if you have braces, as the wires and brackets give bacteria additional areas to hide and multiply. If plaque filled with bacteria gets onto your teeth and braces, it can lead to bad breath, inflammation of the gums, cavities, and permanent stain marks on the teeth.
We recommend that you brush after each meal, but if this is not possible, you should rinse your mouth out with water. Swish the water around in your mouth thoroughly and then spit it out. It's a good idea to keep a travel toothbrush with you when you go to school or work. Also, remember to floss at least once a day. Our team will provide you with a special flosser that will allow you to floss with braces.
Professional Braces Cleaning
You should have dental appointments at least every six months, sometimes more. Professional dental cleanings remove tartar and plaque from areas that are hard to reach when you brush on your own. This also allows the dentist to check whether all your brackets and wires are intact and working properly. Your dentist can also answer any questions you might have about brushing and flossing hard-to-reach areas of your mouth.
Braces-Related Hygiene Issues
Braces straighten and strengthen your teeth, but there's always the risk of food residue getting caught underneath wires and brackets. Brushing and flossing are more difficult with braces, but don't let that deter you from brushing and flossing, as some people do. Proper oral hygiene will also help prevent other oral health problems as well.
Gingivitis (gum disease) is the first stage of periodontal disease. This phase is usually painless but shows symptoms like bleeding and inflamed and puffy gums. Gingivitis is caused by plaque building up around the gumline, so take care. Also remember to floss along the gumline thoroughly.
If gingivitis is not treated, it can turn into periodontitis. Periodontitis is a gum infection that causes the gums to become inflamed and pull away from the teeth. When the gums recede, they form pockets between the teeth where even more plaque can grow. The inflammation in the gums can also spread to the ligaments and bone that support the teeth.
Decalcifications are permanent stain marks that appear around braces. These white lines and spots remain on your teeth for the rest of your life, so prevent them by brushing twice a day.
For more information, please contact our office at 267-703-7877.